Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Classics: Taxi Driver

Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver is an intriguing film. The story of a New York taxi cab driver whose dislike for society drives him to madness. In a way it is the story of a psychopath, but then it turns out to be the story of a vigilante. It's safe to say Travis Bickle is one of the more complicated characters in cinema history.

Travis Bickle, the taxi driver himself, played chillingly by Robert DeNiro, is like a ticking time bomb. You're just waiting the entire film for him to snap, and when he does it is very disturbing, almost too disturbing for me. The true brilliance of the film lies within DeNiro. While I find it disturbing, you can't help but be entranced by his remarkable performance.

The film was directed by legendary director Martin Scorsese. Here, like in so many of his other works, Scorsese glorifies the violence within the film, and if I had a complaint that would be it. The violence is grotesque at times, while some of it adds to the story, I find it more artistic when the violence is merely suggested within a film rather than brutally presented. Even still, Scorsese presents the film with magnificent visuals and terrific performances from his actors.

Taxi Driver is really a unique film, it broke the mold as to what one expects out of cinema. It's still to this day a daring piece of work, one that you can't help but admire. As well, it is probably the best character study of a person driven into madness ever put to film.

I give Taxi Driver a B!

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