Within two minutes of the start of Ramin Bahrani's new film Goodbye Solo, the titular character, Solo (Souléymane Sy Savané), a Senegalese cabbie living in North Carolina, asks his fed up and begrudged-to-be-alive customer, William (Red West), "You're not gonna jump, right?", and up until the film's close, this becomes a question that hounds Solo and the viewer equally. An exceptional drama that finally opened in the U.K. on a limited run this week, Goodbye Solo is a subtle and meditative look at sadness, alienation, and what connects us as human beings.The setup is simple; Bahrani throws the viewer straight into the first meeting between Solo and William inside a cab, with William offering to pay Solo $1000 for a $200 fare to Blowing Rock if he agrees in advance to do it. Suspicious that William is going to throw himself from Blowing Rock, Solo cannot tear himself away despite William being cantankerous and closed-up, and decides to try and convince…
I just don't understand all the adulation that this film has received. I can "get" most arty films, and I thought "Chop Shop," which was the previous film from this director was OK, but this film was a total bore, with no purpose, and characters that weren't at all interesting.As I compose this note, I'm the first person in the Comments section to say how much I disliked this movie. But at least on the IMDb message boards for this movie, I've already found a few who had the same reaction I did. So I guess there's some hope in this world. Dare I say that "Goodbye Solo" will be among the worst films that I will see in 2009.
A loner decides it's time to die. He doesn't expect anyone to notice or care. But Solo the cabdriver can see the signs and does what he can to help old William care again.An immigrant from Senegal, driving down South somewhere near the Smoky Mountains, Solo isn't succeeding by typical American standards but he has a gift for connecting with others. As he tries to to find his place in the world (overlooking this incredible talent), he does what he can to help a fellow human being along the way."Goodbye Solo" isn't a movie about miracles. Like the clouds above the Smokies, some folks won't allow themselves to be touched. This movie perfectly captures that sense of waste.
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