Goodbye Solo



Venice Film Festival

VENICE -- "Goodbye Solo' is a delightful work that may not strike one to look for. It is both funny and sad, placid and provocative and, above all, hopeful and despairing. Solo (Souleymane Sy Savane) is a sensitive cabbie in North Carolina who can smell what's up in the back seat. When 70-year-old William (Red West) hires Solo to take him to Blowing Rock, a treacherous mountain top, in two weeks, the driver knows that his customer is up to no good. Solo uses the time to dissuade, persuade, coax, cajole and even threaten William not to jump off the peak.

Solo takes the old man to bars, encourages him to flirt with barmaids and introduces him to his smart, 9-year-old daughter, Alex (Diana Franco Galindo), hoping that William would not keep his date with death. Solo even asks the older man to help him in his attempt to become a flight attendant. But in a suspense-driven climax, Solo realizes that if at all someone has to drive William on what is seemingly his last journey it must be none other than him.

Memorable performances by Savane, West and even Galindo coupled with some terrific shots of the mountains add to the movie's plus points. There is one breathtaking scene on the peak, where Solo stands with Alex, the wind powerful enough to push them down. Despite its sense of doom at the prospect of death, "Goodbye Solo" keeps you flying.

Production companies: Gigantic Pictures and Noruz Films in association with Lucky Hat Entertainment
Cast: Red West, Souleymane Sy Savane, Diana Franco Galindo.
Director/editor: Ramin Bahrani.
Writers: Ramin Bahrani, Bahareh Azimi .
Producers: Ramin Bahrani/Jason Orans.
Executive producers: Brian Devine/Brooke Devine.
Director of photography: Michael Simmonds.
Production director: Chad Keith.
Music: M. Lo.
Sales agent: Memento Films International
No rating, 91 minutes.