taxi driver

March 8, 2008

this might be my favorite film i’ve watched for this little blog of an experiment. now i never lived one minute of the 70’s, but this felt as authentic as it gets. not the that 70’s show kind of 70’s, but the real psychotic mohawked murderer kind.

not a single minute of this film fell flat, or felt out of place or pointless. i loved structure, telling in essence to stories with travis at the center, and pacing felt dead on. and you gotta love robert de niro. i seem to be going through a renaissance of sorts for actors i had pretty much written off. jack nicholson in chinatown, martin sheen in apocalypse now (though as an actor he seems to be making the best film choices out of this group), and now de niro in taxi driver.

and now to talk about the ending. i feel like i’ve been harping a lot about bad endings or endings that didn’t completely work for me, but this one hit on all cylinders. i love the that the film turns travis into a hero at the end, when 5 minutes earlier he was ready to assassinate the potential president. travis realized he couldn’t take down the senator, so turned his sights to lower level pimps.

you talkin to me?

(i was afraid that the “you talkin’ to me” scene was going to fall flat because of all the parody i’ve seen, but really worked)

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5 Responses to “taxi driver”


  1. John, are you aware that the predominant reading (and I agree with it) of the Taxi Driver ending is, that everything that happens after the long tracking shoot is only happening in Travis’s mind?

  2. johnheberle Says:

    i have heard that, and even thought about it for a second, but decided against it. i’ve also heard that scorsese and schrader both say it’s a real ending (not that what they think about matters more than anyone else).

    i mean there’d be a contradiction in his thinking (which i guess isn’t too far-fetched) but the letter and the articles all call him a hero, but when he gives betsy a ride at the end he says “i’m no hero”.

    i dunno. i could see it working either way i guess, but i like the idea of the media portraying this, pretty much psychotic, killer as a hero.


  3. working either way? that calls for a kw weekly poll, don’t you think?


  4. Who wants to be a “Man of the People”, when the People are like that? [grinning emoticon placeholder]


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