Travis points his pistol at Matthew, says “Suck this” and….BANG BANG! Whoa!! What a scene. What a movie!
I’ve always liked character sketches, be it a book or a movie. Sure it takes patience to understand but that’s where the real challenge is. You engross yourself in the life of a normal human being and right at the climax you’re suddenly awaken by a series of bizarre events that make you go crazy – the tension is palpable!
Taxi Driver is the story of Travis Bickle, who suffers from insomnia and loneliness and thinks of getting a job as cab driver to at least make some money out of it!
Would it be an insult to say I was reminded of Ranbir Kapoor’s character from Rockstar, multiple times while watching De Niro in this movie? Don’t know if it was the similarity in looks or the indifferent attitude, but something is related!!
We see multiple facets of Travis- someone who is smitten by Betsy, someone who feels lonely, someone who hates the thieves, whores, pimps and the crowd he drives around at night- calling them scum that needs to be cleaned, someone who wants his life to be Organizized! The movie shows how his loneliness and rejection, coupled with the sense of responsibility drives him to violence. Events to drive a sane man into insanity and eventually become a sociopath and how he can emerge out of it. The movie is about choices one can make and the consequences it leads to.
His main motive of training himself, getting fancy pistols was to kill anyone who isn’t worthy. He decides to assassinate Palantine- for no apparent reason other than the fact that Betsy rebuked him and he wanted to get back at her. However, he is seen by the secret service agent and fails to execute his plan.
He instead decides to save Iris from the pimp Sport and his dirty business. When he uses his pent up frustrations for a good cause rather than an inexplicable vendetta, he becomes a national hero vis a vis what could have led to his execution if he had indeed assassinated Palantine! I guess that is how life is. We make good and bad decisions every second. What in one scenario pushes us down a sewer can pull us up in another. It is just a matter of chance.
The time when he seeks advice from his fellow cabbie Wizard was funny, especially when Wiz replies “I’m not Bertrand Russell, I’m just a cabbie!” was a laughing out loud moment!
I loved the way the movie was ended. On one hand we think He has gotten over his charm for Betsy while she is attracted to him; and by looking into the rear view, we wonder if there still is something left to happen. I probably thought Betsy would ask him to come up to listen to the Kris Kristofferson record on her recorder as was mentioned in the beginning of the movie and that Travis would decline the offer.
But I guess that would have spoiled the spontaneity of the plot.
One of the memorable lines is when Travis says ” Someday the rain will come and wipe the scum off this street”, it gives you inexplicable joy when he finally does that.
Movies like these can put a director on the map. I believe that’s what happened to Martin Scorsese. Kudos to Schrader, a review to a great plot can’t end without giving credit to the screenwriter! Also, the classy saxophones in the background and way every angle was perfectly filmed, be it in a moving cab or up-down the stairs or Travis’ practicing him shooting the bad guy is worth more than just a mention!
Posted on May 13, 2015, in Movie Reviews and tagged 1001 movies you must see before you die, Martin Scorsese, Palantine, Robert De Niro, Taxi Driver, Travis Bickle. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.