Mini-Review: California Solo


This is a post that is a repurposing of an old-school Mini-Review Round-Up post. As stated here I am essentially done with running multi-film review posts. Each film deserves its own review. Therefore I will repost, and at times add to, old reviews periodically. Enjoy!

California Solo

To not put too fine a point on it this is a film that features a circle closing. It’s a character study, a low-key drama which isn’t going to have outlandish plot points and twists and turns. There is progression and conflict, mostly of the internal variety, but it’s more subtle than one is used to. The circle closes on this story, but some slight coming to terms has occurred.

So how does one go about assessing a tale wherein little to seemingly nothing changed? It comes down to the engaging nature of the narrative, how it builds, how the subtle construction of it works.

Carlyle’s performance is great, but in a tale such as this that tends to be a given rather than a boon. What seems to be missing here is not the change or the evolution but the crescendo. Instead the impetus for change seems to be more of the same. The inciting incident in essence repeats itself such that what our protagonist strove to avoid becomes unavoidable, it’s how he looks at it that changes and it’s very internalized.

To go on much further would be to literally spoil it. It doesn’t have to be revelatory eureka moment, but a more profound, moving, defeated – any kind of emotion really – button to this tale, even with similar structures being supported, would’ve carried more weight.