Wednesday 18 June 2008

Taxi Driver [1976]

When I say Taxi Driver is the best movie of Martin Scorsese, that is something, considering the fascinating body of work that Scorsese – who, along with Coppola, was the greatest American film maker of his generation and one of the greatest ever – possesses. The story of a war veteran, who is trapped in his soulless existence, is as contemporary as it is primitive. The claustrophobic point-of-view of the insomniac taxi driver, who literally drives through the filth and decadence of society, takes us directly into the mind of this severely alienated person and his unbridled rage, who feels it is his sole responsibility to cleanse New York – which is almost as important a character in this movie as the protagonist, and in that parlance, the world, of its garbage and scum – hypocrisy, lies, double standards et al. Robert de Nero, as the cabbie cum violent social vigilante cum anarchist, delivers a characteristic bravura performance by bringing to life Tavis Bickle – one of the most complex characters in celluloid history, while Scorsese shows with his silent scream bursting though seams that there are directorial dynamism and masterworks that only a genius like him can accomplish with such facile ease, in this defining movie of American and world cinema history.

Director: Martin Scorcese
Genre: Drama/Urban Drama/Psychological Drama
Language: English
Country: US


Adrenaline and all that Jazzz said...

Oh man i second that, the tag line "On every street in every city, there's a nobody who dreams of being a somebody" itself portrays a mirror image of myself.

Shubhajit said...

Indeed! The character of Tavis Bickle would easily go down as one of the most devastating characters of screen history. Had this been Scorsese's only movie and De Nero's only role, they would still be in the list of 'greatest ever'-s.

Chris said...

I agree, a masterpiece, and Travis sure is a complex character, partly due to us not knowing much about his history-what has gone before is somewhat of a mystery.

Credit must also be given to Paul Schrader's magnificent script, which I talk about in this week's review. But as you describe here Scorsese created a haunting atmosphere seldom seen before or since.

Unknown said...

Between this and Casino, it is definitely Scorsese's finest work. I instantly loved the film when watching it and its one of my all time favourites now. GReat review.