san’s review published on Letterboxd:
So I finally got around to seeing this classic film. Yes, it’s as good as everybody says. However, I was quite shocked at how popular this is. Other than the fact that it’s a Scorsese film, it doesn’t deem any right to be popular and well-understood. It’s ambiguous and slightly enigmatic, leaving no trace of exposition dumps to explain the film to you in a literal level. It forces you to think and interpret what you’re witnessing.
Taxi Driver is a famous example of what arthouse cinema can accomplish. This sounds like a contradiction...famous and arthouse is an oxymoronic amalgamation. Yet, Taxi Driver is that rare type of movie that gets the attention it deserves. It’s an example that proves cinema is an irreplaceable medium. Some movies can clearly exist in another medium and sufficiently get their message across because they fail to prove themselves as to why their story needs to be told in a cinematic format. Taxi Driver, on the other hand, cannot get that same message across in any other way.
The performance by De Niro is like no other. The soothing and slow jazz score is entrancing and memorable. It’s a score that becomes the perfect marriage to Scorsese’s timeless directing of the 70’s late-night, rainy, and atmospheric New York. Whenever there’s a Paul Schrader and Martin Scorsese combo it always seems like something truly magical and sincere gets made, bringing their utmost passion and intimacy to life.