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Goodbye Solo [DVD]

Souléymane Sy Savané , Red West , Ramin Bahrani    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £5.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Souléymane Sy Savané, Red West
  • Directors: Ramin Bahrani
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Axiom
  • DVD Release Date: 8 Feb 2010
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,468 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Winner of the prestigious FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at the Venice Film Festival, GOODBYE SOLO is the latest film from young, internationally-acclaimed filmmaker Ramin Bahrani (Man Push Cart, Chop Shop), one of the architects of popularly termed American neo-neorealism and recently hailed the new great American director by eminent critic Roger Ebert. Featuring the irresistible pairing of first-time actor Souléymane Sy Savané with former Elvis bodyguard Red West, GOODBYE SOLO is an uplifting exploration of morality at the very heart of a poignant tale of unlikely friendship. Solo, a Senegalese immigrant driving a taxi in North Carolina, has aspirations of becoming a flight attendant and help provide a better life for his pregnant wife and step-daughter. One night he picks up William, a tough Southern old-timer with a lifetime of regrets. One man s dream is just beginning, while the other s is quickly winding down. But despite their differences, both men soon realise they need each other more than either is willing to admit. Through this unforgettable friendship, GOODBYE SOLO skillfully explores the passing of a generation as well as the rapidly changing face of the world in which we live.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Goodbye Solo", Hello Ramin Bahrani. 17 Jan 2011
By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWER
"What are you going to do, jump off?"
Senegalese taxi driver Solo asks a customer one dark night, after he books a one-way journey to a local mountain. The silent response says it all.

Goodbye Solo is a low-budget indie film, written by Iranian-American director Ramin Bahrani (Man Push Cart, Chop Shop). It is, at it's heart, a rough-around-the-edges odd-couple/buddy movie that follows the charismatic Solo (Souleymane Sy Savane) as he attempts to befriend depressed ex-biker, William (Red West), and tries to motivate him to live again (or at least to understand why William is contemplating "jumping").

Solo is a charming character, perpetually incandescent -- despite him struggling to keep his own life in order -- who you instantly take a shine to. In fact, it is this warmth -- juxtaposed with West's authentic depiction of a fifties wildchild (he was the best friend and bodyguard of Elvis) in world-weary decline -- that pulls you straight into the story from the first shot. At times you could be forgiven for viewing this as a simple buddy movie (the intriguing interplay between the two characters (both superbly played: one young, brimming with life, the other old and running on empty) is enough to merit viewing in itself); however, there is always that darker edge, that feeling something isn't quite right, as William's character slowly unravels, and you (like Solo) are increasingly made aware that he might actually do it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching, human film that somehow avoids cliches 29 Aug 2011
By K. Gordon TOP 500 REVIEWER
"Goodbye Solo' manages the near impossible feat of taking an over
sentimental, almost sappy set up (a sweet young African cab driver
trying to save a depressed white old man he often drives), and turns it
into something delicate, touching, complex and open-ended.

The acting is terrific (non-pros?) and, much like Bahrani's excellent
earlier film "Man Push Cart", he's melded a neo-realist approach to the
drama and acting with a beautifully controlled use of the camera to
create beautiful images that tell a story, while working on a tiny

A couple of the smaller roles are weakly acted, and that hurts a bit,
but doesn't keep this from being a special film.

Well worth seeking out.

A side note; if you are at all impressed by director Bahrani's work,
I'd strongly suggest you search out his wonderful short film "Plastic
Bag" which is viewable on YouTube, and other sites on the web (a
quick google will find it). He teamed up with the great Werner Herzog
(who narrates) to tell the first person story of the life of an unwanted
plastic bag in a film that is visually beautiful, very funny, and very sad.
One of the best, non-preachy films on ecology I've ever seen, it feels
like this generation's answer to the classic short "The Red Balloon"
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth a Viewing 30 Aug 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film centres on a budding relationship. Solo is a black taxi driver and young father who is determined to to better himself. He picks up a fare - the much older, rather gruff and weather-beaten William, who for whatever reason seems to have had enough of life?
Solo is a very charismatic sort of guy; he has a big heart. I did though find his speech very hard to pick up and decipher early on in this film.
The film's centre is `Blowing Rock' in North Carolina. It's a rather mystic place, with `Indian' legend, and superb views over the Blue Ridge Mountains. It's a modern day tourist attraction.
William has decided he's going to end it all at the rock, by jumping off of it! However, Solo has other ideas and isn't going to let that happen if he has any say in the matter.
This film scored reasonably highly (8/10) on both Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB. I would go along with that rating, though I felt this could have been a real classic with a little adjustment - it didn't quite do it for me on the relationship side, though I still enjoyed the watch.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars deeper than you expect 26 Aug 2009
By jon19003 - Published on
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.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The cost of friendship 26 Aug 2009
By James M. Shertzer - Published on
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.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taxi . . . 4 Sep 2009
By Ronald Scheer - Published on
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.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best performances in one of the best movies of recent times 30 Mar 2010
By Roland E. Zwick - Published on
Set in the refreshingly unfamiliar locale of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, "Goodbye Solo" is a perfectly realized human drama that, without question, ranks among the finest films of recent years.

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.

As the moody and enigmatic William, Red West provides just the right note of internalized understatement to serve as an effective counterpoint to the life-affirming and extroverted qualities that flow so naturally from Solo.

Written and directed with unerring artistry and truth by Ramin Bahrani (Bahareh Azimi served as co-writer), "Goodbye Solo" is not only a genuinely great film in its own right, but in Souleymane Sy Savane, it contains a performance that truly is one for the ages. Don`t miss it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive Indie Drama about Friendship, Despair & Hope 27 Aug 2009
By D. HupFons - Published on
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.
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