Taxi Driver Movie Review and Trailer
In 1976 Robert De Niro starred as Travis Bickle in Paul Schrader's Taxi Driver. Set in New York City the movie opens with Travis applying to become a taxi driver on the mean streets of Manhattan after an honourable discharge from the Marines. Or so he says.
Travis lives alone. He works long hours, sometimes seven days a week. Twelve hours at work and I still cant sleep says Bickle in a voice over as he sits in a dirty movie after his shift.
Betsy is from upstate and works for the Charles Palantine for president campaign. Travis always drives past the office where she works and notices her daily with her radiant good looks. When Travis finally decides to approach her and ask her out they agree to meet at 4pm in a nearby cafe.
Arranging a date Travis tries taking Betsy, played by The L Words Cybill Shepherd to a porn film which she walks out on after he convinces her ' it' s what most couples go to'
Through a fellow cab driver Travis buys four guns in a shady hotel room. He wants someone to clean the streets of all the filth, but really what does he mean?
Confronted with a robbery at a late night store Travis potentially saves the life of the shop owner and shoots a hood, showing no remorse from killing another human being Travis splits from the scene leaving his piece behind.
One of the most memorable scenes features director Martin Scorcese in the back on Travis' taxi playing a man explaining how he is going to kill his wife and her lover with a .44 Magnum. This scene seems mark the beginning of the transition of the De Niro character. Scorsese is wonderful in the short role and proves he really should have done more acting.
Travis develops relationships with both a twelve year old prostitute, Iris, played by The Silence of the Lambs Jodie Foster and her pimp, Sport, played by Harvey Keitel of Reservoir Dogs and Mean Streets fame. Driving through the streets constantly he sees both about and wants to help both but in different ways.
The film boasts an exciting culmination that makes you question Traviss mindset and intensions throughout the movie. Taxi Driver is a thought-provoking classic that descends into one mans frustration, boredom and most importantly of all, loneliness.
Under the watchful eye of Martin Scorsese the cinematography is moody and at times enigmatic with unique camera angles and shots. The score adds wonderful tension. The film seems as if it could have been factual, you really get an impression of how gritty, seedy and dangerous parts of New York were in the seventies.
Movie Trivia: Robert De Niro was filming a movie called Novecento in Rome and when he finished filming on a Friday he would fly to New York, get his cab drivers license and actually drive a taxi doing jobs to get into the role.