One man is filled with hope for a new life in America. The other is convinced there is nothing left to live for. Together, this odd couple will embark on a journey that will change them both forever. From acclaimed directo... more »r Ramin Bahrani (CHOP SHOP) comes a powerful story of friendship and forgiveness that earned rave reviews and won the International Critics Prize at the Venice Film Festival.« less
Patricia K. (pat) from ROANOKE, VA Reviewed on 6/17/2020...
David M. from SAINT LOUIS, MO Reviewed on 6/14/2011...
Professionally filmed and well acted. However, this is essentially a downer-story about suicide that is not averted. Don't look here for a story to uplift your spirits or to learn a life-lesson. The very talented actors and producers have misused their gifts (God-given talents),to tell a story that will make you feel more sad and helpless than you were before watching the film! The producers commentary says, "This is how life really is." But who wants to purchase MORE negativity? Everyone's life is already full of sadness so don't waste your money purchasing another load.
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The cost of friendship
James M. Shertzer | Winston-Salem, NC USA | 08/26/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Though it owes a major debt to "Taste of Cherry," which the director has openly acknowledged, Bahrani's third feature is another impressive piece of work. It's better than "Chop Shop," which mostly succeeded on the strength of its atmosphere despite its failure to offer a satisfying ending, and almost up there with "Man Push Cart," his amazing first feature. Again, one of Bahrani's constant themes, the immigrant experience in the "land of opportunity," is a constant. But the center of the film is the brief but intense relationship of a Senegalese taxi driver in Winston-Salem, NC, and a gruff, alienated old man who seems to be preparing for a mountain-top suicide. Youth and hope versus old age and disappointment, the American dream vs. its failure; family love versus family dissolution, the joy of friendship versus its price, trying to change life versus accepting what is are all deftly woven through the narrative. Like Kelly Reichart ("Old Joy," "Wendy and Lucy"), Bahrani tells us little about his characters apart from what we observe ourselves, and leaves great blanks for viewers to fill in themselves. Some will likely find this infuriating, but it's true to life. We seldom get to know fully many of the people we meet. Still, you get to know the affable Solo and taciturn, embittered William very well, thanks to the script, direction and performances. The way they affect each other's lives will deeply move you if you take this film to heart."
Deeper than you expect
jon19003 | Philadelphia | 08/26/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"We saw this movie when it played locally. I was intrigued after reading Roger Ebert's thoughtful and enthusiastic supporting review after it played at Sundance. The two main actors, a cab driver from Senegal and a old, cantankerous man enter into a bargain that takes some time (think suspense)to unfold. Wonderful character development and gritty but good low light cinematography (in North Carolina) work really well in holding the audience... wondering which way each character will go. It's about lost and found dreams, unexpected kindness, and how some people need to control their destiny. Makes me want to go back to NC to see the countryside I missed."
Taxi . . .
Ronald Scheer | Los Angeles | 09/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Such a fine film, made from the simplest story elements and relying on the performances of two remarkable actors, Souleymane Sy Savane (as Solo) and Red West (as William). Set in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the film is clear from the first scene that one of the characters intends to commit suicide. Although they are strangers, the other man, a Senegalese cab driver, intends to prevent that from happening. Like a well-written short story, that simple premise is the taut thread that runs through this film to its end.
Firm believers in less-is-more, the filmmakers report in the commentary that only the actors playing the two central characters knew what the film was about. Around them are characters oblivious to what's at stake and being played by performers whose performances are thus wonderfully natural. Diana Franco Galindo is especially affecting as the young step-daughter of Solo. Just as fine for this reviewer as director Ramin Bahrani's "Chop Shop" and "Man Push Cart" - and each of them is a gem. The commentary on the DVD will be especially instructive for indie, low-budget filmmakers, as Bahrani and screenwriter Bahareh Azimi focus a great deal on the production of the film."
Impressive Indie Drama about Friendship, Despair & Hope
D. Hupp | Woodbridge, VA United States | 08/27/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"GOODBYE SOLO is an Indie drama about friendship, despair, & hope. Savane, a talented newcomer to the big screen, portrays Solo, a taxi driver who aspires to be part of the American dream. As a Senegalese immigrant who grew up in a society where family & friends are the hub of one's attention & energies, Solo finds it inconceivable that life in urban North Carolina (Winston-Salem) is so different from that in his homeland.
As the film begins, Solo engages in friendly conversation with his passenger William, a sullen middle-aged customer who will become a prominent figure in Solo's life. Within minutes the chatty Solo receives a sizeable deposit from his no-nonsense rider as a down payment for a trip several days hence that will significantly impact both men's lives.
As the story unfolds, William and Solo will come to know more about each other during the next several days than either might have considered possible when they first met. Their seemingly chance encounter and hastily agreed upon trip will provide viewers with a revealing look at these 2 men as they struggle with each other's different views about the meaning of life, death, family, & friendship.
Rahmin Bahrani masterfully directs both men through a series of interactions that builds gradually & suspensefully to an emotionally impactful climax that seems at times inevitable & then again becomes elusive.
Fans of this genre who patiently watch the 2 main actors (Savane & West) reveal their respectively nuanced characters will find this movie both thought provoking and rewarding."
A great film
A. M. YOUNG | Columbia, SC United States | 06/02/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great film. Set in Winston-Salem, NC, it's about a young Senegales cab driver (Solo) who refuses to be broken by life's hardships trying to resurrect his new friend (William) from his already-broken state. Solo's joyful love for a stranger who doesn't seem to want to be loved anymore is very moving."