By Tanya Batson, Staff Reporter
ONE LOVE is an
enjoyable movie, but more importantly it shows why we need to develop our film industry, why we need to tell our own stories.
Beautifully shot, the dramatic comedy tells the story of two young people who love each other, separated by the circumstances that make them who they are. Into this time-worn premise Rhone weaves interes-ting characters who make the movie truly worthwhile.
Because of the characters, One Love is able to shrug off the burden of its clichéd name and present itself as worthwhile, not because it is reminiscent of a classic reggae song, but because it is a well-crafted movie.
As the very artwork for the title, with black and white lettering upon red, gold and green background suggests, the movie embraces reggae (the plot is even reminiscent of the song Curly Locks). Both Serena (Cherine Anderson) and Kassa (Ky-mani Marley) share a passion for music, and the movie is made to a beat, but One Love works for the same reason that Harder They Come does. It makes use of a reggae soundtrack, it is not beholden to it.
Anderson has a beautiful voice, which the show makes use of,
but her performance would have benefited from a livelier delivery as her serene expression tended to drag after a while. Marley also does a credible job.
So, though Anderson and Marley are the stars, the
real gems come though the
Winston Stona, who plays Serena's father, Pastor Johnson, gives a gripping performance. Stona is rather convincing as a man who is one of the privileged few who are allowed to visit edictsfromgod.com. He also manages to interpret every action that goes against his wishes as actions that also go against God's. Whether he was preaching fire and damnation
or keeping a tight rein on his daughter's actions, Stona gave
a great performance as the
Winston Bell, an actor worth more than his salt, also gives a very good performance, adding to the more comic elements of the movie. As the corrupt
producer Selector G, Bell brings some funny moments to life. Chris Daley also brings some funny moments as the blind band member Neville. Young Kelly Barrett does herself proud as Claudette, a money-hungry young singer.
Idris Elba (of HBO's The Wire) also does a good job as Serena's jealous fiancé, adding
to both the dramatic and comic elements of the film.
Jamaica also plays a very prominent role in the film, and could easily have been named as a co-star. The opening scene of the movie does for Jamaica what The Lord of the Rings does for New Zealand. Breathtaking vistas of the sea and cloud-wreathed mountains make the island seem surreal, as though if it is not Eden itself, it quite close. The shots celebrate the diversity of the island's natural beauty without seeming deliberately touristy.
Especially as a tool for
showing the nature loving Rasta man, Kassa, the movie also shows some wonderful shots of Portland. It does not pay much respect to geographic accuracy (so it takes 1/2 hour to go from Zion Hill to Hope Gardens) but it doesn't truly matter for the film to work.
One Love is a good film. It's dramatic. It's funny. It's lovely.