As I finish my work week, co-workers often ask me what I plan to watch over the weekend or even what movies I recommend for them to rent or go see at the theatre. I give my suggestions, make my recommendations and most times I know what I want to watch over the weekend as well. I often opt for the usual newly released movies and once in a while search high and low for that wonderful or special experience that no one talks about or has heard about.
Tonight, as I flipped through it all and for some reason or another had no interest in the new releases or the blockbusters or the “gotta see this”, and while I searched I came upon GOODBYE SOLO. I read the short synopsis which indicated the story was about two men developing an unusual friendship, then I noticed the movie was a comedy/drama so I decided to watch it.
The story from the opening scene grabbed my attention as it began with a cab ride, where a passenger named William requests the cab driver named Solo, who picks him up take him to a place called Blow Rock in the outer parts of Winston-Salem, North Carolina on October 20th – which was ten days away. The African cab driver jokingly asks “why, are you going to jump?” and looks back in the rear view mirror for a reaction and when he gets a blank stare, he soon realizes William’s plans and need for help.
Solo plans to befriend William in an effort to change his mind and while he neglects his responsibilities at home with his pregnant wife and step daughter, he spends every day and night finding ways to understand and help William. William on the other hand fights him every way he can and doesn’t allow him into his life and the two men spend the next ten days impacting each others lives on so many levels that all you can do is watch in complete amazement, while you fight back the tears.
I don’t want to give the entire movie away, as it is a must see, but I cannot begin to express how this movie impacted me personally. Ramin Bahrami, wrote and directed the movie and with his vision a story was told that everyone, anywhere around the world can relate to. The movie is filmed in the “slums” of an American town called Winston-Salem, exposing to us that even in the USofA nothing is and can be perfect. The story is about unexpected friendships, struggling immigrants, lonely hearts, chasing the American dream, finding the will to go on and the strength to never give up. To top off this fascinating story, Bahrami’s ending is the most beautifully filmed and as to the point as can be. While one experiences sadness and despair throughout the movie, during the ending you cannot help but feel a sense of peacefulness while the cameras remain focused on one particular scene to get the message across.
In my opinion this movie is a masterpiece that did not get it’s well deserved glory, but if these days a good movie is defined as leaving you on the edge of your seat then this movie should have been a blockbuster. I highly recommend it.