payton’s review published on Letterboxd:
I made the mistake of taking an edible when I started this movie. As it was hitting me harder and harder, Robert De Niro's character, Travis Bickle, began spiraling farther and farther out of touch from reality. It really had me analyzing every aspect of De Niro's performance, from his exuberant, yet deranged body language to his manipulative dialogue I was all in.
I loved how dark and mysterious the entire film was, lending to the way that Travis Bickle likely views the city around him, a city which allowed for his mental state to deteriorate throughout the film. This is largely why Taxi Driver felt very reminiscent of Joker (2019).
One of my favorite scenes is between Travis and Wizard (one of the taxi driver's that hangs out at the diner) that comments on the capitalistic society they find themselves in. Already watching Travis begin to lose touch with reality, hearing Wizard say, “You get a job, you become the job" felt like it was the exact opposite of what he needed to hear.
My only grievances with Taxi Driver occurred towards the end as I could have done without the sex worker shame** Travis was displaying. I get that he is not supposed to be the most likable character, but it felt as though the film went in a completely different direction once this topic was introduced.
**While writing this I completely forgot that Jodie Foster was playing a minor in the film which essentially makes any “consent” obsolete. Even if she was playing an adult sex worker I feel as though Travis would have reacted the same way to the situation, which is where my issue lies with that portion of the film.