Goodbye Solo Scene

Solo and William bonding

I only learned about Goodbye Solo after looking for a film to watch in theaters a month ago. Unlucky for me, the film was no longer playing. It may have been the best film that I have missed in theaters this year so far. The titular character, Solo, is friendly, likable and a reliable Senegalese immigrant cab driver. It’s easy to be taken with a charismatic personality like Solo’s. William is the opposite of Solo. At and old age. he is someone who lacks Solo’s friendly demeanor and it is a task in itself to get to know him. We right away are dropped into the film and it lays out the scenario of the plot. William pays Solo to drive him to Blowing Rock, a real life mountain where objects that are dropped fall upwards. William doesn’t specify what he will do there, but Solo’s outgoing inquisition reveals that William intends to jump to his death. Since the job is not till several days, Solo makes an effort to befriend William.

For one night, William is dropped into Solo’s life at home. Solo’s stepdaughter, Alex, is young, cute and sharp. Solo’s wife, frets over Solo’s career and activities. But Solo’s life is not one of debauchery or reckless behavior. It is one where he has a job, one where he provides for his family on all fronts and one where he aspires for more. It seems pretty clear that Solo’s life is on solid ground. Despite this, Solo leaves the family for a short bit after a fight. He spends the next couple of days with William. Just as both had contrasting personalities, the two have contrasting lives. William now lives in a motel where he is in transition for the future drive he has paid Solo for. What else we learn from William is in regards to his tastes, past and family.

Goodbye Solo is derected by Ramin Bahrani and written by Bahareh Azimi and Ramin Bahrani. Souleymane Sy Savane delivers a great performance as the likeable Solo and Red West nicely plays the suicidal William.

Often I found myself thinking of people I have encountered like Solo. I think such people are what most of us want to be like. A person like Solo at first meeting sounds like they have no problems or troubles in their lives. Goodbye Solo demonstrates how a person with such a life faces the problems we often face. Though, Solo faces his problems, he maintains an upbeat feeling through it all. The Solo who has faces life with such an attitude is really the Solo most people will interact with at the job or in the neighborhood Solo works and lives in.

William on the other hand has come to grips with his own problems and his solution to his problem comes to run a sort of diagnostics test on Solo’s friendly demeanor. At several points in the film, Solo has a quiet mile long stare with an unseen reality. Is he puzzled? Is he scared? Maybe it’s both. Solo is facing the start of his adult life. William is nearing his. Goodbye Solo is a slice of life that demonstrates two personalities and contrasts two different lives at two different stages.