You talkin' to me?
In my first viewing of Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver, I thought it was a very well made film and respected the fact that it was in fact one of the greatest films ever made. However, I simply didn't like it as much as other people did. There was something missing that made Scorsese's other films so great, that little spark that worked well in Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and even Casino. But in my second viewing I saw what made this film a true masterpiece. And boy was it clear.
Taxi Driver is the story of Travis Bickle. Travis is a psychopath. He grows tired of the scum and the cockroaches that infest the streets. He is soon driven to violence and even goes as far as to attempt to assasinate a senator and save a young hooker from her pimp.
The film is pretty much a one man show that rides on Robert De Niro. The guy is my personal favorite actor and this is one of his finest roles. Despite the fact that Bickle's a complete psychopath, the audience sympathizes with him as a man who's been pushed to far by the bad people of this world. Supporting players like Cybill Shepard and a young Jodie Foster also turn in strong performances.
The cinematography is absolutely brilliant. This was where we were truely introduced to Scorsese's quick editing and zoom in's. The musical score by Bernard Hermann is also fantastic and quite memorable.
I will say, though, this is a truely shocking film. There is quite a bit of violence and the amount of gore, sexual content, and language practically leans toward an NC-17 or (at the time) an X rating. So don't let any small children watch this.
All in all, Taxi Driver is one of the greatest films ever made. A must see.