memento_mori's Movie Review of Taxi Driver (1976)

Rating of

Taxi Driver (1976)

Characteristics of a masterpiece.
memento_mori - wrote on 09/14/13

An observation. A continuation. An infatuation. An obsession. A culmination.
Taxi Driver may be the best character study ever made.

Travis Bickle has gone down in film history as the insomniac taxi driver/amoral philanthropist. For good reason.
Robert De Niro is one of my favorite actors, and I consider this his crowning achievement. The visceral tone and sense of calm he brings to this character who starts out so minute and bursts into insanity is incredible.
His character owes a lot to the brilliant script by Paul Schrader. Man, that guy knows how to effectively construct characters who know how to interact with each other. Some of these scenes are golden, especially the ones without dialogue, or just a shot of Travis' eyes ever-observing the city's grimy nightlife.

This is Martin Scorsese's best looking film to date. I knew it was the right choice to re-experience it on Blu-Ray, because this movie is beautiful. Not in the sense of what the characters are doing, but how the corrupt and dissuasive nature of the film's setting can seem so beautiful through his direction and cinematography.
There are shots in this movie that basically describe how a person can perceive reality sometimes. To look at it from such a pessimistic standpoint, and express it through imagery. When your film can do that, you have made a great motion picture.

This film reminds me of what a person can express through the medium of film. Art. This movie is as much a character study of frankly quite an unlikable man, but his devotion to his obsession, his motivation to rise to a higher standard than the shady people he drives around all night is impressive.
Scorsese may have been cheated out of an Oscar, but he definitely let the world observe his shining talent, and it continues to shine through the classics hall of fame.

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