#326/ 365 – ‘Taxi Driver’ (1976) – 113 mins
IMDb Challenge #203 / 250 – Ranked #41 – DVD Collection
New York City taxi driver Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro) constantly, almost obsessively, reflects on the ugly life around him, and becomes increasingly disturbed over his own loneliness and alienation. In nearly every phase of his life, he remains a complete outsider, failing to make emotional contact with anyone. Unable to sleep night after night, he haunts the local pornography emporiums to find diversion, and begins desperately thinking about an escape from his depressing existence.
“One day a rain will come and wash all the scum off the streets.” – opening monologue of Taxi Driver.
Taxi Driver, is a masterful and iconic potrait of character building from Martin Scorsese which early on confirmed is immense talent as a director. With a Herrmann’s beautiful accompanying saxophone score, Scorsese creates a seedy neon-lit New York City, an atmospheric world full of moral corruption and where a confused, lonely human spirit in insomniac Travis Bickle (one of the great character names of the 20th century) is trying to break free of it.
Robert De Niro in the central role delivers one of those powerhouse performances like only DeNiro can to literally blow you off your feet, to capture the complexities of our anti-hero, who gave birth to the immortal line – “Are you talkin’ to me?”.
The supporting cast are also superb. In the difficult role of the young prostitute Iris, Jodie Foster gives an assured and mature performance far beyond her tender 13 years of age at the time, and like everybody here, she has her own agenda. Harvey Keitel as her brutal pimp makes the most of his minimal screentime to leave quite an impression.