Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver ★★★★★

I find it strange that this movie is so popular. I see 'bros' quoting it and they always have this next to Goodfellas and The Sopranos and Entourage in their collection of movies(as do I). I think a lot of people like it for the wrong reasons. They like the violence and the guns and DENIRO. But for me this is the quintessential art house film: ambiguous in it's meaning, a meandering story with no plot in sight, a protagonist that has more psychological disorders than Edward Norton in Fight Club and every character except the Presidential campaign’s employees are completely fucked up. But I'm not giving these 'bros' enough credit, maybe they feel just as lonely as Travis Bickle and this movie offers some sort of escape into a fantasy world where they can take their frustrations out in. 

The simple but exceptionally challenging mission Taxi Driver accomplishes is making Travis Bickle a fully formed, unique, polarizing and all together fascinating character. Characters like Travis Bickle aren’t written very often and when they do pop up(ie Christian Bale in American Psycho, Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler) the film that surrounds them is usually less interesting than the character. With Taxi Driver the movie itself is an amalgam of Travis, they are fully intertwined and illuminate each other in ways that only great films can do. 

The most impressive aspect for me and all the other humans that love this movie is we can all relate to Mr. Bickle. It's a slippery slope that we're on when we feel that sense of isolation and loneliness that Travis tumbles into. Paul Schrader, Bobby D and Scorsese obviously connected with these emotions, opening up their inner demons in a vulnerable but also creative way. I just respect them so much for making it with such conviction in their vision. To collaborate on this filmmaking level over emotions and ideas that are so complex and personal seems damn near impossible. It's the fiercest movie Scorsese has ever made, and that's saying something. It's easy to talk about and easy to admire. I mean my god the cinematography in this movie is breathtaking. The music is soul searing. The editing and camera techniques are still being analyzed. It's just so god damn glorious in what it's trying to do.

These guys were born to make this movie.

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