Taxi Driver Review
Themes and their interpretations
The ending has been the subject of much debate. In which newspaper clippings are shown about Travis’s “heroism”, saving Iris. Betsy jumps into her cab, but it seems that she is now admiring him instead of her previous disgust. What is the point of this fantasy scene? Travis made it through the shoot-out. Do we feel his death thoughts? Is it possible to accept the following sequence as true in its literal meaning? … I am not sure there can be an answer to these questions. The final sequence functions as music. We end not on carnage but on redemption, which is the goal of so many of Scorsese’s characters.
James Berardinelli in his film review argues against dream interpretations.
Taxi Driver ends with the perfect epilogue by Scorsese as well as Paul Schrader, a writer. Steeped in irony, the five-minute epilogue underscores the vagaries of fate. The media builds Bickle into a hero, when, had he been a little quicker drawing his gun against Senator Palantine, he would have been reviled as an assassin. The film ends with Bickle being portrayed as a model citizen, someone who fights drug dealers and pimps to save a little girl.
Scorsese acknowledges that LaserDisc’s audio commentary was a criticism of his interpretation of the film’s ending. Bickle looking at the unseen object last scene suggests to him that Bickle could fall into rage or recklessness in future.
Paul Schrader, the writer of the 30-anniversary DVD commentary confirms that Travis is not “cured” by the film’s ending and “he’s certainly not going to become a hero the next time.” Reddit asked Schrader about the film’s end. He said it wasn’t meant to be taken in dream sequences, but that he saw it as returning back to the beginning. It was as though the final frame “could have been spliced into the first frame” and that the movie could start over. It has also been linked to 1970s vigilante film wave and is considered a New Hollywood alternative to many exploitation vigilante movies of that decade.
Taxi Driver is a film that has similarities to vigilante films in the 1970s. However, Taxi Driver was explicitly identified as not being either a vigilante-film or belonging the the 1970s vigilante cinema wave.
The film A Taxi Driver was well received upon release. Rotten Tomatoes gives it an approval score of 96%. Based on 28 reviews, the average rating was 7.3/10. Website’s critique consensus states that “A Taxi Driver” brings an unorthodox perspective to a story of sobering consequences. A Metacritic assigns film a rating that is based on reviews. According to 7 critics, it has scored 69 points out of 100. That means the film was given “generally favorable reviews.”
Sohing Yi Chan of OFF SCREEN pointed out A Taxi Driver “as a film depicting a historical trauma”, let the international audience, especially those who were not familiar with the event, be able to learn more about the truth.
The director also suggested to the movie that it adopt a Hollywood-style narrative structure, giving audiences the chance to experience the “roller coaster of emotions” that is presented by the film in a very workmanlike manner.
Jennie Kermode of Eye For Film shared the relevant ideas that the director didn’t ignore the peaceful and lovely moments besides the violent, panic and horrible scenes, and it created a contrast in emotion and let audience keep shocking or plunge into consideration.
This film’s cinematography received more attention. Sheri Langen from The Hollywood Reporter added that this film captured an “intensified metal-on-metal violence” in both the checkpoint scene (and the mountain road chase scene). This helped Kim make his decision and her reaction seem stronger.
Sheri Linden also refuted the doubt on the other character Hinzpeter that his emotions might be overplayed in the last act, by evidencing the found footage from the real Hinzpeter by the end of the film, to show the proper performance in the film.
Edeltraut Bimstaedt was the widow of Jurgen Hinzpeter (German journalist). She visited Seoul in August 2017. Brahmstaedt was to view the film, which is based upon the true story about her late husband during this visit.
.Taxi Driver Review