At some point in our lives, we’ve been touched by the power of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ music, its influence and, more importantly, its confluence on the global stage, as a political conflict is at the edge of boiling over in Reinaldo Marcus Green’s frenetic biopic, Bob Marley: One Love.

Set in 1976, political strife risks affecting daily life in Jamaica. At its center is Kingsley Ben-Adir as Marley, who announces a concert to promote peace between the various factions on the small island, but that concert goes wrong, causing him to flee along with his wife Rita, played eloquently by Lashana Lynch and their children. What follows, is Marley’s reorganization of his music into a political call for peace.

Bob Marley: One Love is frenetic, as Green, along with screenwriters, Terence Winter, Frank E Powers, and Zach Baylin (based on a story from Winter and Flowers) explores the physical life at that moment of Bob Marley as well as the metaphysical. The political framing device does its job adequately in explaining Marley’s reaction to the situation. Ben-Adir is solid as the musician, the actor lending his talents to the performance in a convincing way, relative to the drama. Lynch’s Rita is by Marley’s side throughout most of the film, yet you can feel her presence throughout the film, a credit to the story.

Where Bob Marley: One Love’s story becomes uneven is as Green transitions from reality to the metaphysical aspect of Marley’s mental struggles. Those transitions are powerful, and if it tied back to the musician’s physical state effectively, it would have made the character that much more powerful. Green, who also directed the lackluster King Richard, doesn’t fare any better with Bob Marley: One Love. Though, Bob Marley is a far tougher subject to get down visually; what Marley endured personally, physically, and professionally is an important part of our shared history – his music calms souls, while remaining a powerful reminder of the perilous precipice of sanity humanity sits upon in the present.

One, key element to Bob Marley: One Love called attention to itself in a positive way in Robert Elswit’s stunning cinematography. Elswit’s eye captured the visual freneticism exceptionally well, considering that 85% of the film was shot in the darkness of night, or in smoke-filled sets. The level of detail he captured draws the viewer into Marley’s life, particularly the performances, as well as the visual aspects of the metaphysical. However, the visual aspects are let down by the storytelling.

Less consistent is Pamela Martin’s editing, a conflict with the script as it struggles to transition from the chaos of civil strife, the attack on Marley and his family, Marley’s struggles to get his message out, marital struggles, and Marley’s health issues, rendering the film inconsistent from moment to moment.

Bob Marley: One Love is interesting for its representation in human history of a popular figure, and a broad moment in his life; yet its frenetic and inconsistent storytelling struggles to find a foothold.