Movie Title: Taxi Driver
Director: Martin Scorsese
Release Date: February 8th, 1976
Date Seen: July 3rd, 2012
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
Do I really need to write a spoiler free part? I mean honestly, I feel like I’ve got to be one of the only people in the whole world who hasn’t seen this movie. And why have I never seen it? No idea. I’m just weird.
But, I’ve gotta say, this was a great movie. Shocker, right? The acting superb. The shots, incredible. The characterization, fabulous. Having an inside look into a crazy mans mind, priceless (ohhh yeah mastercard reference). Definitely one of Robert De Niro’s best movies ever. And a 14 year old Jodie Foster- wow, great job. Even though she was only in it for about 15 minutes overall, you believed her as that runaway little 12 year old girl – that was now a prostitute.
Part 2 – In Depth Spoiler Ridden Review
Again, since I’m the only one who seems to have never seen this movie – nice and short. The visuals were fantastic in this movie. Some of the shots were so simple yet so powerful. Of course, there is the obvious “You talkin’ to me?” scene, with Travis talking to himself in an old full length mirror on the wall, with a shelf with various foodstuffs including a loaf of wonder bread on it behind him. Fabulous. The final ‘shootout’ scene – when the cops come in and the frame freezes as we slowly zoom over the aftermath of the shooting. It gives you time to go over what has just happened and what we think will happen to Travis and Iris.
Robert De Niro played Travis, the slightly-crazy marine veteran. We get to see his evolution of getting the taxi job – seeing what he considers to be the “scum” of the city – and now looking at the city just like it is a war zone. He spends his days watching crappy porn flicks at the theater and his nights driving the taxi cab, because he can’t sleep. We see him socially rejected many times. He doesn’t fit in well with his other taxi drivers, he takes forever to hit on a girl he likes, and then when he does he takes her to a porno movie because of his lack of social skills. It’s all just so sad. But Robert De Niro does a great job at portraying this lonely character.
Then he finds what he thinks he must protect, Iris, the 12 year old prostitute, to “fight” for. We see him start working out again, get guns, practice shooting, making holsters for his weapons, etc. It was interesting to see this evolution. The whole time, though, you know he’s crazy. He’s a lonely crazed man – and sometimes we question his moral compass. That’s why he’d be considered an “anti-hero” in all senses of the word. In the end, they even label him a hero, but was he really? He takes out his own version of vigilante justice (actually twice) and is rewarded for it both times. The first time is the shop owner who is being robbed. Travis shoots the robber and kills him. The shop owner is grateful to him and “takes care of it” for him. The second time is the obvious final scene. So the viewer is left with this notion of vigilante justice will get you rewarded. Hmmm….
One thing I did enjoy about this movie is that even though it was filmed and 1976 the movie could work just as well in today’s society. I mean yes, obviously it is dated for the hair, clothes, the hair, the cars, did I mention the hair? But that aside, it could just as well have happened yesterday, rather than in 1976.
Great movie. Loved it. Well-shot, directed, acted, etc. The only reason it doesn’t get higher is because it’s not MY favorite type of movie. I recognize it as being a great movie, and I did love it. But it’s not one that I will go back to over and over again. And maybe that’s just because it is my first viewing. Who knows. But for now, that is what it’s getting.