A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, while attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
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Travis Bickle is an ex-Marine and Vietnam War veteran living in New York City. As he suffers from insomnia, he spends his time working as a taxi driver at night, watching porn movies at seedy cinemas during the day, or thinking about how the world, New York in particular, has deteriorated into a cesspool. He's a loner who has strong opinions about what is right and wrong with mankind. For him, the one bright spot in New York humanity is Betsy, a worker on the presidential nomination campaign of Senator Charles Palantine. He becomes obsessed with her. After an incident with her, he believes he has to do whatever he needs to make the world a better place in his opinion. One of his priorities is to be the savior for Iris, a twelve-year-old runaway and prostitute who he believes wants out of the profession and under the thumb of her pimp and lover Matthew. Written by
In an earlier version, Iris's timekeeper discovers a weapon on Travis, disarms him, then returns it to him as he's leaving. The scene was edited out, but the gun is still in the timekeeper's hand when he looks at his watch. See more »
An individual's fight- against loneliness and for justice.
"Taxi Driver" is a beautiful portrayed of an individual who tries to do things his way, in the hectic and dangerous New York of the '70's. He already isn't a stable person to begin with (he's a Vietnam veteran) but through his loneliness and due to his own personal views and idea's of society and the world, he gets more and more consumed by the rotten society until he feels it is enough and decides to take matters into his own hands.
Beauty of the movie is that it gets interpreted by everyone in his or hers own way. Everyone sees some different things in the story and characters. I think this also was what writer Paul Schrader and director Martin Scorsese had in mind, while making this movie.
The story takes us into the world of Travis Bickle. We begin to see society through his eyes and we more and more begin to understand the character as the movie progresses. It makes his character not only a understandable one but also a very realistic one. Nothing in this movie is overdone or made to look better or worser than it is in real life.
The movie is made extra powerful through the performances of the cast. Robert De Niro is a sensational main lead and the supporting cast is also real great. Some well known actors that were still unknown at the time of this movie make an appearance, such as a very young Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks, Victor Argo and an almost unrecognizable young Harvey Keitel.
The entire movie is sensational- and with lots of style directed by Martin Scorsese, who knows how to set the right mood and atmosphere. The simple- but effective and realistic from Michael Chapman and the musical score by Bernard Herrmann (his last) also add to the atmosphere. Also of course the fact that New York City serves as the backdrop for this movie, gives the movie a typical dark and gritty feeling and atmosphere. Everything is slowly but powerfully build up in the movie and every sequences plays a significant role. A result of this is that the movie is filled with some unforgettable sequences, of which the famous 'You talking' to me?' sequence is the best known. But also the violent ending leaves a lasting impression.
It's still a movie that applies today, after 30 years now. Because lets face it, what exactly has been changed in society compared to 30 years ago and now? The subject and meaning of the movie could still apply to present day. It makes "Taxi Driver" a timeless and important movie that is a perfect reflection of society and already is worthy of the 'classic'-status.
Yet another essential '70's viewing.
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