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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.
Solo (short for Souleymane) is a cab driver from Senegal who becomes buddies of sorts with one of his regular fares - a cantankerous older gentleman by the name of William, who apparently has no family or close friends and whom Solo begins to suspect might in fact be contemplating suicide. Now Solo must decide how deeply to insinuate himself into the life of a man who obviously cherishes his privacy and who keeps all his emotions and thoughts buried deep beneath the surface of a taciturn, sometimes even resentful, exterior.
Without resorting to hyperbole, I can safely say that not only does Souleymane Sy Savane deliver the most astonishingly compelling performance I've seen in ages, but, in Solo, he has created one of the most fully actualized characters in recent memory as well. We literally can't take our eyes off Savane as he brings to extraordinary life this gregarious, highly energetic and shrewdly observant individual who's been blessed with a seemingly infinite capacity for optimism, for seeing the good in other people, and for caring about his fellow man. And it is the openhearted frankness, the complete lack of guile that Savane brings to the role that turns Solo into such a believable, fully-rounded and unforgettable character. Solo may be stuck in a nowhere job at the moment, but his innate intelligence, personal drive and infectious way with people ensure he will not be there long. Even the camera can't seem to resist Savane as it edges ever closer to his face as the movie races towards its artful, poetic and bittersweet conclusion.Read more ›
The main character, Solo is a taxi driver who lives in Winston-Salem, NC; an immigrant from Senegal who is by nature an optimist and gregarious. Affable, hard working, and assertive, Solo is determined to succeed despite the challenge of trying to keep his troubled marriage from falling apart. Yet Solo remains upbeat, while driving a taxi and attending aviation school in hopes of attaining a pilot's license. This creates further fractures in his marriage because Solo's ambition to become a pilot is based in his desire [and determination] to return to his home in Senegal - his pilot license serving as evidence and proof of having attained the American Dream. Amid the ongoing tension is Solo's demanding job and long and irregular hours driving a taxi he doesn't own. These challenges of balancing a busy work schedule, aviation school, and becoming a father during a trouble marriage present Solo with dilemmas.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An honest exploration of the most basic human struggles depicted in a beautifully haunting setting. This film leaves much for the viewer to interpret, which I personally enjoy.Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
I love this movie. Despite what could be very depressing subject matter, it is so touching that it is uplifting instead of sad. The acting is great too!Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I could not really find the wonderfulness in this film that others have. I agree with one reviewer who said we never really got to know much about William. Read morePublished 5 months ago by flowerpower
We don't always need a Hallmark happy ending. We don't always need a feel-good Disneyfied world.
There's a guy. He wants to commit suicide. He meets a cab driver. Read more
recommended by Roger Ebert
in his documentary about his life
so happy to find it on amazon
About a pessimistic older American and a young immigrant with boundless optimism. They each sense a divine connection with each other but struggle to connect. Read morePublished on May 3, 2013 by mr. contrarian
I so enjoy and love this movie. The director is outstanding, and the actors did great jobs! Beautiful scenery in Blowing Rock, NC, and on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Read morePublished on December 31, 2012 by P. Sink