Monday, February 21, 2011

Goodbye Solo (2008) R - 3 Stars

If you like good Independent films, I think you will enjoy this one. Though I wasn't happy with the ending, I feel a better one might have been the three returning in the car together, helping Solo studying for his exam. It seems strange that Solo and Alex drive home without discussing anything. I love Souleymane Sy Savane as Solo and you'll find yourself rooting for him. He's the kind of guy you want for your friend with such a positive attitude. He tries to win over William's depressed side but can't seem to get through.

If the directors goal was to have William, played by Red West, be the crustiest grumpiest old man you've ever met, he succeeded. But it also didn't make one want to like him or have much sympathy for him. You're not going to see a lot of action or breathtaking cinematography, but it's a great simple story of human compassion between the oddest of couples.

In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Solo (Souleymane Sy Savane), a Senegalese native, is trying to eek out a living as a taxi driver. He dreams of one day hanging up his keys and acing the test for becoming a flight attendant. His relationship with his Hispanic wife Quiera (Carmen Levya), and his stepdaughter Alex (Diana Franco Galindo), has been shaky lately. Quiera wants Solo to maintain his Taxi job and give up his silly dreams of becoming anything else. Family is very important to Solo as where he comes from in Africa, everyone lives together and pitches in to take care of the elderly.

William (Red West), is in need of a taxi to take him from his home to the movie cinema. Solo happens to be the driver that picks him up. Over the next few days, Solo becomes William's driver, taking him back and forth to the movies. William makes an financial arrangement with Solo that on the 20th of the month, he will drive him 2 hours one way to a rocky cliff known as Blowing Rock. With Solo's vibrant personality he tries to find out way William will not be returning from this trip. The more Solo pursues the questions, the more William's angry disapproval grows. As Solo takes William to the bank to close his account, the date of the fateful trip arrives closer. William is starting to almost care for Solo so he fires him and hires another cabby named Mamadou (Mamadou). But Solo feels the need to be with William on the last final trip and regains his trust to drive him there.

2009 - National Board of Review - Best Independent Film

This Is That, Gigantic Pictures, Noruz Films, Lucky Hat Entertainment
Director: Ramin Bahrani
Writer: Bahareh Azimi, Ramin Bahrani
Producers: Ramin Bahrani, Jason Orans
I viewed 1/11

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