A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Solo is a Spanish film with English subtitles based on the true story of a lone surfer who fell down a steep dune on an isolated Canary Island beach and dropped into the ocean, breaking his hip and tearing his hand open. Some blood is seen from the accident, but the film focuses on his efforts to survive as he fights off thirst, pain, and hungry seagulls. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," and "t-ts." Adults drink a lot of alcohol. A man picks a fight with his ex-girlfriend's new man.
What's the story?
SOLO is based on the true story of Alvaro Vizcaino (Alain Hernandez), a Spanish surfer who dropped from a cliff into rocky waters and broke his hip, among other injuries, in 2014. The night before the accident, he learns that his closest friend and surfing buddy has fallen in love and is moving to Canada. Alvaro's response is selfish and childish. He's had too much to drink, and when he sees his ex-girlfriend with another man, he starts a fight. In the morning, he wakes up hungover in his Jeep on a dune overlooking the ocean, where his fateful accident occurs. After the fall, isolated on a remote beach, he's in pain, dehydrated, and cold. He slips in and out of hallucination, reliving regrettable moments in his life. He conveys his understanding that there are many people he's hurt and many to whom he owes apologies, including his friend, his parents, a sister, and an ex-lover.
Is it any good?
Solo, which means "alone" in Spanish, brims over with compelling photography, but the tribulations of a selfish man realizing his shortcomings as he faces death may not interest most teens. Like Robert Redford in All is Lost, Hernandez portrays someone stripped down to human fundamentals and survival instincts, giving a remarkable performance as a man battling pain, impending death, and inner demons all at once. This is definitely not for everyone, and it leaves open the big question -- does he live a better, more generous life after the accident?
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the lessons Alvaro learned as he reviewed his mistakes and flaws while trying to survive. Does Solo suggest that he's going to try to live his life differently now?
Why do you think Alvaro berates himself for being arrogant and stingy with his love? Do you think stress and emergencies can sometimes make a person better or stronger? How?
Do you agree that you can have either freedom or love but not both? Why?
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