After having seen the lovely film Goodbye Solo during its theatrical run last Spring, I’d planned to do a post about it and the nuanced performance of newcomer Souléymane Sy Savané as the ebullient taxi driver, Solo, but life imposed, busyness preempted putting finger to keypad.
I’m glad to hear from Erickka Sy Savané, his prettily pregnant wife and Bitches Brew columnist of the DVD release today. Available from Lionsgate, the DVD features the theatrical trailer as well as commentary from the writer/director Ramin Bahrani.
Though there is the potential in the “unlikely friendship” storyline of pandering to cliche, it is deftly handled here. Like Marianne Sägebrecht’s turn as the German tourist Jasmin alighting and bringing light to a Mojave desert truck stop in 1987’s Bagdad Cafe, with believably open-hearted optimism, Souléymane’s Solo enchants us as he endeavors to bring joy into heart of the lonely curmudgeon William and to carve his own tasty slice of the American pie.
Hailing from Côte d’Ivoire, the charming, gracious Souléymane, like the Senegalese Solo left his African home to carve a new life path. interestingly, he did a two-year stint with Air Afrique as a flight attendant– the very position for which Solo longs to retire his hack license. Lean and handsome, Souléymane modeled in Paris and New York (which is how I know him–wonderful to work with) prior to launching his acting career. He is definitely one to watch; he appears in two forthcoming features (one alongside Uma Thurman) and his recent theater debut as the South African Thami in Groundswell was critically acclaimed.
Souléymane, his co-star, Red West and filmmaker, Ramin Bahrani appeared on Charlie Rose on May 15th to discuss the film.
Ivoirian Souléymane Sy Savané’s winning turn as “Solo,” the Senegalese taxi driver, in “Goodbye Solo.”