Martin Scorsese’s brutal masterpiece about a ticking time bomb of a human being working as a NYC taxi driver comes together via Robert De Niro’s intensity, DP Michael Chapman’s unflinching gaze at a Gomorrah-like New York, and Bernard Herrmann’s eloquent nightmare of a score.
Hallucinatory, strikingly violent, Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader’s plunge into the twisted psyche of a cab-driving Vietnam vet offers a nightmarish voyage into the seedy underbelly of pre-Disneyfied NYC. De Niro brilliantly incarnates the lonely and deeply troubled Travis Bickle, adrift in a sea of “filth,” surrounded by random violence, racial tension, porno theatres and prostitution. Desperately striving to be a “normal person,” Bickle becomes obsessed with “saving” a pre-teen prostitute (Jodie Foster) from her jive-talking pimp (Harvey Keitel). The darkness of Schrader’s script is tempered with a seductively noir-ish visual style and a romantic, luxurious score by the great Bernard Herrmann (completed only days before his death).
(US/ 1975/ Directed by Martin Scorsese)
R / 112 mins.