Blowing Rock
Goodbye Solo
Review by Ross Anthony

Just screened this film last night, been in my head much of the morning -- I haven't decided whether that's a good thing or not. The film stutter-starts from black. As if the beginning reel is missing. I like it. We, as the audience, are thrown into a taxi with an old gruff man expressing a strange request (Willem) and a seemingly happy carefree cabbie from Senegal (Solo).

It appears that Willem wants only to close off the loose ends of his life, while Solo fears the worst and seeks to head Willem off at the pass (so to speak). It's an enticing premise that carries the movie along nicely. While the interactions between these two tasty personalities warm the picture and lift it into the realm of special. Kudos to the dialogue, actors and straight-forward cinematography for creating this sweet experience.

However, by the hour mark the film drops its pace a notch while climbing somberly its supposed peak. At this point, propelled mainly by the promise of an emotional climax, the wind up, in its acute subtly, belies that climb. With such a subtle climax, I'm left wondering not only about resolutions, but also the character arcs. What did our main characters learn, if anything? I see the opportunity here for the lessons to be all on the part of Solo. If I stretch a bit, I can define some potent stuff. But, perhaps this is just a matter of taste, I would have preferred more definition to be in the picture itself.

Also, Willem planned to fly, and Solo to become a flight attendant -- just a coincidence?

I'm torn between a B and B+, will round up.

-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • Goodbye Solo. Copyright © 2009.
  • Starring: Souléymane Sy Savané, Red West, Diana Franco Galindo, Carmen Leyva, Lane "Roc" Williams, Mamadou Lam. Directed by Ramin Bahrani. Screenplay by Bahareh Azimi, Ramin Bahrani. Produced by Jason Orans, Ramin Bahrani at Roadside Attractions.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2019 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 08-Apr-2009 10:40:01 PDT