Goodbye Solo – *

Posted: November 20, 2015 in 2009, Drama, USA, X


This movie scores 89 on metacritic with nothing but positive reviews. Either there is something terribly wrong with my feelings of empathy or the movie critics have never thought of suicide or hung out with a Senegalese pall before.

Here you have a story of an old and grumpy guy who’s fed up with life and has planned to commit suicide on a specific day in a specific location. All he needs is a taxi driver to bring him to the spot and that’s it. He plans the end of his life perfectly. Pays his debts, sells his house, closes his bank account and books a taxi driver to bring him to a mountain spot in the Appalachians. Great! Hooray for the freedom to choose how you end your life!

But then he encounters an obnoxious, over-cheerful, African immigrant taxi driver who feels the need to help this man change his mind. This is where I don’t get the movie critics. This is where I don’t get the promotion team behind the movie selling it as a ‘feel good movie’. From the very first scene this taxi driver interferes with his client’s wishes. He stalks him, forces his friendship on him, gets noisy, calls him Big Dog and Man to the point that you can’t wait for the client to get fed up and sling a fist into his face. (which happens an hour into the movie).

The Senegalese character is so incredibly annoying. He kills the movie from the very start. Yet, apparently, I’m the only person in the world who feels this way since everyone just loves this character. Like, really? Really? REALLY?

Luckily it ends well. In fact, it’s the end that saves the whole movie. Not the look I have no budget but I can make a film look great cinematography. Not the I‘ve never acted in my life and try to be as natural as possible by not acting at all skills of the main performers. But the fact that in the end, the taxi driver does what he was supposed to do and even helps him make that end journey more pleasant.

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