Taxi Driver is a neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese. It stars Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel, Cybil Shepherd, Peter Boyle and Albert Brooks. Set in New York City following the Vietnam War, it tells the story of Travis Bickle, a 26 year old honorably discharged U.S. Marine, who takes a job as a taxi driver to cope with his insomnia. He urges to become violent to save a twelve year old prostitute, after witnessing the negativity of the city from his taxi.
This film is probably De Niro’s most well known film and is definitely one of, if not the best of his work. He does an outstanding job at portraying Travis Bickle, making him seem more disturbing as the film goes on. There is not a lot of action in this movie, except towards the end. Although it starts out slow, it does pick up speed and becomes not so focused on his driving, but his outside life and other characters like the woman he becomes infatuated with Betsy the campaign volunteer played by Cybil Shepherd and Iris “Easy” Steensma the prostitute played by Jodie Foster.
This is a rather dark and disturbing film, that doesn’t have a huge story and doesn’t need it. It is well acted by all the actors and actresses and has the right amount of distress, brutality and drama, making it one of the greatest films of all time. Truly a classic, not one that can be watched over and over for most people, but it still goes into that category. It made a statement then and still does today. Travis Bickle is one of the most iconic film characters ever and it is because not only was he portrayed by De Niro, but also because he was directed by the great Martin Scorsese, who both know how to create such shocking and memorable characters.
This movie truly disturbed me, as much as Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, but I also thoroughly enjoyed it, actually more than Kubrick’s uneasy film. This is truly a psychological masterpiece. 17+ 5/5