The dim light of blind lanterns, the skeletons of factory chimneys choking in their own smoke. Skyscraper towers of Babel, all of this is the hell of the New Time, New York.
Vietnam War veteran Travis Bickle drives his lonely taxi through the night streets of the endless city as a grim panorama of human sins unfolds before him. As an Old Testament prophet, he hopes that one day heaven will send a saving rain to earth that will cleanse New York of age-old filth.
And when hope dies, only hate remains. A fiery shower will fall on the heads of sinners. The taxi driver will take care of this.
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“We need to clear this city of dirt” – the first thought, taxi driver Travis, who saw the night streets, from the window of his car.
Lonely and not needed by anyone, and all attempts to make acquaintance with someone end in failure. He looks like an ordinary person, but the drops are deeper, we will see a person with a crippled soul. And as the hero of Al Pacino said in ‘The Smell of a Woman’: ‘You cannot replace the soul with a prosthesis.’ How can such a person live? Why should he live? He is trying to survive in the city and in a world in which everyone goes their own way, and this is normal, but not for him. He sees no point in this vanity, in senseless attempts to assert himself in life. He finds work to occupy himself and get rid of insomnia, but this only aggravated his worries.
‘I work twelve hours a day and still can’t sleep. Insomnia.’
Despite the fact that basically all Scorsese’s paintings are beautiful with their dialogues, there are not so many sayings in Taxi Driver, but every thought from Travis’s lips penetrates directly into the soul. In addition, each frame carries a meaning, and all that remains is to think out. You can talk for a long time about how Robert De Niro plays, here his hero, again, is not like the others. And it seems like the famous facial expressions and grin of Robert shines in every film, but all the same, except for facial expressions, the actor puts a different state of mind in each role. I’m talking about the fact that Robert does not just enter the image, or even play, no, he gets used to each of his characters.
‘Don’t think too much’ – a colleague taxi driver advised him, but is it easy to give up your thoughts and get back on your feet when there is fog around you.
Taxi driver Travis, with a lost look, immediately causes anxiety, but let’s imagine if he was a real person whom you would meet in life. Would you talk to him and even more so trust anything? Most likely no. Travis is not like everyone else, yes, he works like everyone else, has fun like everyone else, but he is alone, and it kills him from the inside. He tries to speak, but they do not understand him, and most likely they do not even listen, he tries to listen, and does not understand what he is doing here and who these people are, what is next to him.
âThereâs no choice anyway, weâll all get fucked someday.â
He tries to join life, to other people, although he knows that he is not at all close to them. Travis is critical, and no one shares his position either, because he looks at his surroundings with different eyes. Probably even a child is clear that there is little justice in the world, and it is difficult to change anything, this is understandable to everyone except Travis, a person who lost himself and left his soul somewhere in the past, and lagged behind the whole world for many years.
âI donât understand myself.â
All problems are alone. When he meets Betsy, it seems that confidence and hope comes to him. He invites her to a cafe, starts a fascinating conversation, and interests the girl. But their state of mind is completely different. Betty turned out to be the same for him as everyone else, fixated on her work, a pitiful girl who can not appreciate anything but appreciate. And he was disgusting to her, and terrible. And all attempts to return the girl were in vain, and Travis was finally disappointed in the people around him.
‘I want to do something, something meaningful.’
And after that, Travis began to withdraw more and more into himself, building up dark thoughts in his head. The dirt that the taxi driver sees from the windows of his car gets into his mind, the idea of âârevenge and retribution becomes obsessive. Shooting in the film is brilliant and heartfelt. Scorsese was great even then, how he feels the actors, and how he expresses meaning, if not through dialogue, then through the frame. Travis’ emotions and feelings are understandable without words.
“This thought has been ripening in me for a long time – to punish.”
A man pushes Travis to change (he was played by Martin Scorsese himself), who got into his car, and explained how people go to the next world, and that he is going to kill a negro, with whom his wife is cheating. I must say, in ‘Taxi Driver’, as in many of Scorsese’s films, there are some shades of racism, but they do not come from the director, but from the streets that carry racial hatred. Negroes, Jews, Irish and Italians – all have their own mentality and characteristics, all have their own sins and cockroaches. But most of America consists of them, the America that Martin reveals in his paintings.
‘Listen, you bastards and scum, there is a man who is tired of all this, and who is not going to endure it all anymore. Listen, you assholes and scum, there is a man who will rise up against all this shit, against all this filth, abomination. There was a man …. You are a dead man. ‘
I will not focus on the heroine, the then young Jodie Foster, who played Travis’s muse, because they wrote about her in sufficient detail. I want to write about the very act of the taxi driver. What could he change globally? The answer is nothing. However, even the help of one girl seemed to him a way out of the situation. Send scoundrels to the next world and, if you’re lucky, survive on your own. He lost his mind, but a healthy person would not have gone to such a thing. Travis went against everyone else, and he punished these bastards.
After that, his life changed, they wrote about him in the newspaper, Betty again showed interest in him, and most importantly, he freed the girl from dirt, for which her parents were grateful to him. But, could he finally get rid of his thoughts and loneliness? No, Travis was doomed. The reflection in the mirror of a lonely taxi driver is unlikely to ever change, and he will still see this dirt. It’s just that apparently there are people who look at life simply, do not really think about what is happening, and do not notice the vices of people – perhaps they are lucky, and it is easy for them in life. And there are those who cannot live when they see the suffering of another person, he cannot simply swallow it.
‘Someday there will be a knock on your door, and it will be me’ – Travis, in a letter to his parents.
Martin Scorsese’s painting is definitely not for everyone, not everyone can learn and feel it. And since then the world has become even more overgrown with various ‘dirt’, that now the worldview of a lonely taxi driver will seem to many a prejudice. Well, in vain … After all, he will simply stare at you, with a smile, but at the same time, think about something completely different. And you will think that you are in front of a possessed psychopath who is studying you. That’s the difference between you. You are not connected by anything …
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (66.4 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Czech: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
German: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Hungarian: Dolby Digital 5.1
Italian: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Japanese: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Spanish: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Polish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Russian: Dolby Digital 5.1
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