Starring: Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Jimmy Cliff, Rita Marley, Ziggy Marley, Cedella Marley, Chris Blackwell, Marcia Griffiths, Lee Perry, Cindy Breakspeare, Aston Barrett
Directed By: Kevin MacDonald
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Buy On Amazon.com
Marley is one of the best music documentaries (or any documentary) that I’ve ever seen! Even if you’re not really a fan of Bob Marley’s music, this is a movie you need to see! You’ll thank me later.
Marley touches upon the beginnings of Bob Marley and the Wailers as a ska band, and then shows how Bob Marley became the iconic figurehead of Jamaica. The movie discusses the upbringing of Bob, and talks about his British father and growing up as a “mix.” The movie is told through interviews from family, friends and colleagues. What drives the movie isn’t the interviews, old photographs or behind the scenes footage per say. It’s the endless amount of classics from The Wailers and Bob Marley. It acts as a narration in a way. It’s really nice seeing the archive interview footage, but it’s also great to see the updated interviews with Bunny Wailer, Bob’s girlfriends and wife, his children and other people involved with his daily life. I’ve seen some documentaries and specials about Bob Marley but none of them compare to this.
As a big Bob Marley fan and reggae fan, I was really interested in this movie since I heard about it. When it became available to rent on iTunes, I actually spent the money to rent it and watch it on the computer. I never rent movies on my computer! I was happy I did though because the film is beautifully shot and it’s a compelling yet sad story of Bob Marley. Even if you know a lot about him, some things still surprise you. Plus, even though you know Bob is gone from this world, you still find yourself getting choked up at the end when his kids speak of his death. It’s just rough. The interviews are the strong point of the movie because they tell you how Bob is and what kind of person he was. Some time he wasn’t portrayed in the best way especially with having so many children with several women. But everyone can agree, that Bob Marley’s music is timeless and just amazing. If he didn’t pass away at such a young age, who knows what would have happened with his life in terms of music and even politically.
I mentioned before how well this was shot, but if anyone is ever wanting to film a documentary, this is a good example of where to look. The colors are so vibrant, and love the “bokeh” (aka blurry background) of the shots. I’m wondering if it was shot using DSLR cameras or could have been a pricier cameras like a Canon C300? Either way, it looks nice! Even the old archive footage looks better and cleaned up quite a bit. On the DVD, there’s a few extras like commentary with director Kevin Macdonald and Ziggy Marley, extra footage of the children (Ziggy, Stephen, Cedella), photo gallery and a few other things.
Whether or not this is about Bob Marley or not, you need to see this. You never know, you might want to listen to his music after this. I know from watching this, I just want to listen to Bob Marley & The Wailers and reggae all day and night. This is perhaps one of my favorite documentaries of all time and I think you’ll like it too.
Around the World
Extended Interview With Bunny Wailer
Children’s Memories: Additional Interviews With David “Ziggy” Marley, Stephen Marley and Cedella Marley
Listening to “I’m Loose”
Commentary With Director Kevin Macdonald and David “Ziggy” Marley
Widescreen 1.78:1 Color
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
Bottom Line: This could very well be the best music documentary I’ve ever seen!
Running Time: 145 mins