Friday, October 9, 2009

Goodbye Solo (2008)

Director: Ramin Bahrani. Cast: Souleymane Sy Savane, Red West. 91 min. Rated R. Drama.

Indie director Bahrani's third film follows the same theme of lonely immigrants in America. An old American asking a Senegalese taxi driver to take him to a rendezvous to commit suicide, echoes Kiarostami's Palm d'Or winner, The Taste of Cherry; but Bahrani offers a different interpretation of the concept, and a different ending. Believe it or not, the only reason I'm giving this a Mojo, is because the final glance between the two main characters at end of the movie still haunts me as I write this review. Maybe because I'm always bewildered by a person who "decides" to die.

(Check out Ebert's review, for interesting facts about the two actors' background.)

Mo says:


  1. In spite of having some slow rhythm in some scenes , my first experience of this director was not bad!Both characters were attractive, the final shot was great. I personally concluded exactly what Roger Ebert mentioned at first :"the movie is about desire to help and desire to not be helped". It means sometime we can not be helpful and efficient for anybody or anything , no matters how much we are struggling or intereted, just... we cannot succeed . that's all! then I felt William & Solo couldn't influence each other lives at last , but after reading Ebert's comment ,I got the point. Yes he's right. they undoubtedly changed each other deeply, even though , they apparently went into separate ways( spoiler ! way of death or life)

  2. Spoiler alert!

    This is exactly why the final gaze between the two characters affected me. Solo looked disappointedly at William; disappointed that after all the effort, he coulnd't dissuade him from suicide. William looked apologetically at Solo; asking for forgiveness because no matter how good Solo was too him, he had to do what he had to do. And all this occured just by a simple exchange of looks.

    The best part is, we never know why William committed suicide. I guess this is again another favorite Kiarostami theme: eliminate whatever has no use in the story. The important thing is, William wanted to commit suicide, and he did. The reason isn't important.

    For some reason, I'm always dumbfounded at a character who decides to die. "Thelma and Louise", "The Wild Bunch", "The Devil's Rejects", and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" all have this point in common. Whenever I see such will power in a movie character, it suddenly elevates the movie in my mind tremendously.

  3. I enjoyed the film! I faced a reality of comparing 2 facts " being hopeful about life" and " indifferent feeling about the rest of the life". I felt some kind of sympathy with the fact about suicide, as the way of helping a person who has no motivation for living is useless or needs strong medical job which is unfortunately not available for ordinary people/friends :( .
    William who is hopeless about his life has realy nothing to be worried about just his life, days, bank account,few dresses which he gradualy destroys all and may be the reason of not being eager to be loved/cared by Solo is the same. friends (which Solo mentiones alot) is a meaningless word to him as may be he now has lost all of them... he is alone. Solo whose name comes from lonelyness (in French language), tries not to be alone, communicate with people despite of their reaction. Solo who is always be told what to do by others,loves the character of William as a strong man who is like a stone and nobody can control or influence him.the final shot beetween 2 men was full of inevitable looks and unfinished words... While Solo wanted to feel his friend in the wind I thought may be he has made the same decision but it was beautifully shown that, he had enough reasons to go on..I can say despite of the sad end I wasn't totaly sad, though life was going on and in the world still some beautiful sceens (as was glorious in the road) exist which can impress some lives!
    the uncertainty of suicide may wants to give the feeling that no matter what he has decided for his life, he is still in our minds....

  4. Isn't it strange? How cinema makes it "ok" to commit suicide?

  5. yesssssss! the majic of camera makes it easy to think about every thing ..... also i believe here is lessening the judging about these people!