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Bob Marley's Son Ziggy Reacts to “One Love” Movie Reviews: 'The Critics Don’t Get It but the People Get It'

Ziggy, 55, said in a new interview that his father's works have often conflicted with critics' opinions

Kingsley Ben-Adir as Bob Marley in
Kingsley Ben-Adir as Bob Marley in 'One Love'

Bob Marley’s son is speaking out against critics of the recent biopic about the reggae music icon's life, One Love.

In a new interview with Variety published on Thursday, Ziggy Marley, who produced the film, said he believes critics didn’t understand the film — but the general public did.

“I remember when reviews came in. It was like, ‘Let’s see what the people say,’ ” Ziggy, 55, told the outlet.

The biopic was released to somewhat tepid reviews from critics, earning a 42% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences didn’t agree, however. According to Variety, the film earned an “A” CinemaScore on opening weekend.

Ziggy, a Grammy-winning musician himself, recalled that when the trailer was first released, audiences were moved to tears.

Related: Bob Marley's Children: All About the Reggae Legend's Sons and Daughters

“I remember we released the trailer and people were very emotional for some reason,” he recalled. “People [were] crying. You don’t get that often.”

Ziggy told the outlet that the dissonance between the responses to the film reminded him of how music critics responded to his father’s albums as they were being released.

“I was like, ‘Yeah, this is actually perfect for something representing Bob. That the critics don’t get it, but the people get it.’ It was meant to be this way,” Ziggy said. “I was just going over the review of the ‘Exodus’ album [the 1977 album from Bob Marley and the Wailers]. They killed it: ‘It’s terrible.’ So, the box office thing was how it was meant to be. People make the decisions, not the critics.”

The movie performed extremely well at the box office, too. One Love grossed $51 million in its initial opening after it premiered in theaters on Valentine's Day, and at one point held the ranking of the third highest-grossing movie of the year.

Related: How Kingsley Ben-Adir Prepped for Bob Marley: One Love — Guitar in Hand — on the Barbie Set (Exclusive)

“[Critics] bashed the album that became the album of the century,” Ziggy added of Exodus later in the interview. “It’s not what they missed, but what they were looking for. They were looking for a different story. Our story’s about this man inside himself and his heart. It’s not a typical biopic or rags-to-riches story. It’s spiritual, too. So maybe they’re missing the essence of the thing and what it’s supposed to be instead of what they think it should be."

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Bob Marley: One Love follows Marley (played by Barbie’s Kingsley Ben-Adir) as he and his band, Bob Marley and the Wailers, record their hit 1977 album Exodus amid political strife in Jamaica and the years that follow the album's release. The Hollywood Reporter previously reported that the movie has set a record in Marley’s home country of Jamaica for the largest movie opening of all time.

“My family and I are honored with the amazing response to Bob Marley: One Love,” Ziggy added in a statement after the film’s release. "Like my father's music, this movie is meant for the people and his message of peace, love, and unity is clearly connecting with audiences around the world.”

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