I went to see Goodbye Solo yesterday, the latest movie by American director Ramin Bahrani. I had read a while ago that it was a good movie, but didn't remember the details so I didn't really know what to expect. The story is about a young black taxi driver, Solo, in North Carolina who has an old white man, William, as a regular passenger. The old man asks Solo to drive him up to a local mountain, "Blowing Rock", two weeks later: "one way, no questions please, and I'll give you $1,000." Solo smells trouble and tries to develop a friendship with William, who clearly doesn't like the attention and tries to get rid of Solo. However, Solo keeps trying, and more or less forces William to open up a bit. In the mean time, Solo has problems with his girlfriend and we see William often in the local cinema where he spends a lot of time with a young guy who sells the tickets.
Finally, Solo, accompanied by his stepdaughter, drives William to Blowing Rock, where he says goodbye to William (telling his stepdaughter "William is meeting a friend") and stares blankly in the distance suggesting that William jumped off the rock to commit suicide.
The film was a bit too arty for me (none of the stories has a head or a tail), and on the way out I picked up the local movie magazine that had an article raving about the movie ("the ultimate movie about friendship") and explaining how "one can not force friendship on somebody" and "you have to let go of even your best friends". Oh well.
After the movie I had dinner with MI and we discovered the best restaurant ever, Morlang on Herengracht. Their Indian lamb curry "rogan josh" is the best ever and the Tarte tatin is to die for. We will be back!