De Niro can get so god-damn creepy sometimes.
Martin Scorsese crafts a gripping vision of urban decay and insanity in which mentally unstable Vietnam vet Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) drives a cab through the sleaziest streets of gentrified New York City and befriends a child hooker (Jodie Foster).
This is honestly a film that everybody kept telling me I should see but never got a chance to. Now that I have finally had the chance to actually see this, they will finally shut up.
There is this constant paranoia that the character Bickle goes through, and there are plenty of moments where you can see it. The music adds a lot to the mood and feeling of how Bickle is, and gives you this feeling that just nothing is right with this person, and the world he lives in. Throughout the first part of the movie, it plays the same piece of music over and over again (to reflect the repetitiveness of Travis’s life, maybe?), but the music gets more unsettling as movie progresses.
I liked how the gritty look actually got me involved with the setting. The film is set in the early 70s in New York, filled with drugs, crime, prostitutes, and most of all maniacs such as Bickle. It has brilliant shots of Bickle driving around in his taxi cab with some even more beautiful shots of a gritty, but realistic New York at the time.
The one problem I had with the film was that the film has about two plots. The one about him trying to assassinate the president candidate, and the one about him trying to save Foster from a life of damnation. I think that the one with Foster was a lot more stronger than the assassination one, and although it comes later in the film, the Foster story should have been the only plot other than the other one.
Robert De Niro’s portrayal of this Travis Bickle is damn-near spotless; when the character looks like crap after many sleepless nights, Rob looks like he actually feels the same way. He looks like, in real life, he’s going through the same things that Travis is going through in the movie. Also, Jodie Foster is also very good, and shows that an early age she could still knock it out of the park.
The ending is not confusing but as much as it is debatable. I didn’t understand what the ending was supposed to mean if anything, but I guess it’s just one of those endings that are just up to debate.
Consensus: Taxi Driver is a very dark film backed by an incredibly disturbing performance from De Niro, and a fearless direction from Scorsese, but focuses too much on one plot when the strongest plot comes by the end.