General · 11th November 2009
[Note: The film originally advertised for this date, TULPAN, will be shown on November 27th]
November 13th, 7:45 at Quadra Community Centre GOODBYE SOLO rated PG
A Senegalese taxi driver, Solo, travels at night in the city of Winston-Salem, N.C. His fare is William, a 70-ish, tough-looking white man. In two week's time William wants a drive to Blowing Rock, two-hours away in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He gives his driver a $100 deposit on a $1,000 fee for the trip. Solo laughs it off, until the old man says he'll get another driver. Solo suspects the man intends to jump to his death. William doesn't deny it.
Director Ramin Bahrani concentrates on precise interactions and telling images to create a rich parable about respect and dignity. What Bahrani does isn't flashy, but it is terrific, careful cinematic storytelling. GOODBYE SOLO blends concerns both cosmic and every day. The effect is so casual it feels improvised, but the technique is painstaking.
William is played by Red West, former friend and bodyguard to the late Elvis Presley, and a haunting presence with a palpable sense of grief. Solo takes Red on as a project. His interest in the old man is implicitly tied to Solo's family in Senegal where it is an honour to take care of the elderly.
GOODBYE SOLO meets the complex demands of classic storytelling. It is credible and unpredictable, and the most powerful emotions are communicated through emotionally connected images, not words. “Every moviegoer can recognize the love story, no matter how unusual the context.” (Liam Lacey-Globe and Mail)