Solos is like a Peruvian version of Waiting for Godot, but not as successful.
Wendy, Diego, Rodrigo and Alberto are 4 thirty-somethings who travel through the lush Peruvian jungle from village to village to show a film in the open air, without cinemas and untouched by Hollywood.
Between villages they chat, meet local people, and generally sort out the world’s problems (or, at least, their own). Alberto is stuck in a dead-end job that pays too well for him to leave. Wendy can’t get her love-life together. While Diego and Rodrigo struggle to make ends meet as full time artists.
Apparently the dialogue in this film is largely improvised and it shows. The topics range from sex, alcohol and the lack of work available. I found a lot of it trite and laborious. There are no outcomes to the problems raised by the four characters and, while this is obviously meant to be a technique of the film, it makes for tedious viewing.
The only respite (however slight) is when they visit local villages and talk to the locals. These people provide history and a sense of reference for the film.
After the first 30 minutes it is clear that we will never discover the reason for the low attendance to each of the screenings and why four people would travel so far to provide free movie screenings. This what makes the film unbelievable. Surely there would be one viewing that is well attended. It is made clear that there have been some big screenings previously.
The nature of reality/doco/road film/improvised dialogue makes it hard to comment on the acting to any depth. The 4 characters however, were well defined and believable.
Perhaps it is the translation that prevents the film from reaching its potential, but I doubt it. Solos is a road trip to nowhere with no substance to define it.
Reviewed by Barry Hill
Rating out of 10: 2