Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Taxi Driver

I know very little about Taxi Driver. I know it is considered a classic, I know it has De Niro in it. That's about it. It will be interesting to see something considered so iconic from such a blind viewpoint. Here we go.

Presses Play…

Well that was quite an enjoyable couple of hours. To sum up Taxi driver would be difficult but to me it is a diary of a madman whose degeneration into homicidal lunacy is finally halted when he submits to his urges.


Travis's descent into rage and retribution is depicted brilliantly by Scorsese and De Niro with his whole manner being unsettling. Travis has none of the boundaries that most people have, he seems to push through life living in a fantasy of his own making. He has no real understanding of how people and society works and his adherence to the worst parts of the city and the lateness of the hour only seek to increase his low view of humanity. One great example of this is when he takes a date to what is essentially a porn theatre failing to see why she found this rather upsetting.

On some level this film is rather reminiscent of Death Wish which came 2 years beforehand. The character of Travis never seems a hero in the way that Paul Kersey did however. He is never somebody who I could grow to like, being essentially a psychopath rather then a vigilante.


There were a few things that didn't gel about the film. The violence when it came was extreme and bloody seeming at odds with the relatively well paced majority of the film, the ending “twist” seemed rather unbelievable and almost of a tacked on style and some of the sequences seemed overly long, though I do understand that this is to a degree setting the scene.


Finally worth a mention is the use of cinemascope to great effect, often pulling the view from the natural centre of the screen and the brave if, in my view, not particularly melodic Jazz score which really does give the film a style of its own.


Taxi Driver is a very good film in my book, not great but certainly very good. A great introduction to Scorsese as a director which I hope to expand upon with the Godfather Trilogy, another classic that I have failed to see so far.

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