The protagonist, Trevis, is a lonely and paranoid character. The whole movie revolves around his life, via his background narrations. The screenplay is so beautifully crafted with a lot of background noises of road traffic, keep aligned the score to the movie title.
Trevis and his loneliness is aptly described in the way he hangs out with friends, and yet not get involved much, the way he narrated his diary writing, and the way he regularly visits movie theatre alone with empty chairs around.
It’s said that an empty brain is a devil’s residence. According to me, that was the first problem with Travis. After his “honorary discharge” from the Marines, he didn’t have enough to do with his life. And when you don’t have enough problems in life, you create them. Consider it, how a person who was uninterested in political issues in the first half the movie, later on, went to assassinate a President. It’s quite relatable how Trevis kept on getting stuck with one problem after the other.
Also, I personally felt, Betsy’s rejection was the turning point for Trevis. If the things would have been better with Betsy, Trevis might become content in his life. Metaphorically, the importance of a relationship is described, as to how significantly Betsy could have saved Trevis from being paranoid.
The story is also about how our choices are judged by the society. Trevis had never intended to be a hero (who knows!). He failed to assassinate the President but then was published in the newspaper as a hero for saving Iris.
The ending possibly could be just a dream, or else, an alternate scope for what story could have been if Betsy would not have rejected Trevis.
Taxi Driver is possibly the best-directed movie with an artsy characterization of Trevis, played beautifully by De-Niro.
My favourite dialogue from the movie?
Look at it this way.
A man takes a job, you know? And that job – I mean, like that – That becomes what he is. You know, like – You do a thing and that’s what you are.
Like I’ve been a cabbie for thirteen years. Ten years at night. I still don’t own my own cab. You know why? Because I don’t want to. That must be what I want. To be on the night shift drivin’ somebody else’s cab. You understand?
I mean, you become – You get a job, you become the job.
One guy lives in Brooklyn. One guy lives in Sutton Place. You got a lawyer. Another guy’s a doctor. Another guy dies. Another guy gets well. People are born, y’know? I envy you, your youth.
Go on, get laid, get drunk. Do anything. You got no choice, anyway.
I mean, we’re all fucked. More or less, ya know.
The best scene-
“You talking to me?”
or maybe this one…
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