Film Review – “Taxi Driver” (1976)

I’m a huge fan of “Taxi Driver” as well as the screenplay.  The hook in the beginning isn’t very strong.  Starting with Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro) applying to be a taxi driver in New York.  It is  simple and makes me wonder how many studios stopped reading after ten pages.  Those who stuck with it were along for an amazing ride.  We see Travis go from a simple quiet guy who isn’t a fan of the town he lives in to going crazy and planning an assassination of a presidential candidate.  This flow is what I think makes the script so great.

 

(SPOILERS)

 

But…I’m not a fan of the ending.  After Travis ends up blowing his assassination attempt he quickly moves to free Iris (Jody Foster), a twelve year old prostitute, from her pimp, played by Harvey Keitel.  On this quest he ends up getting shot and then the police arrive.  It is at this time Travis puts his finger to his head and motions as if he blows his brains out.  Role credits? No.  The screenwriter, Paul Schrader, then takes it a bit further.  The director Martin Scorsese sets up what would have been a perfect end with a great over head shot that shows the carnage and then outside to the police in the street.  Then we see an interesting epilogue that doesn’t seem to fit in my opinion. It wraps the story up nice and tight to make you smile.  This left me cheated.  I’m not going to spoil this ending only because I want people who haven’t seen the film to make up their own mind.

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