Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver ★★★★★

"No no, just the part about the contradictions." "You are that."

Well, Taxi Driver used to be my favourite Scorsese until Raging Bull took over 2 days ago probably due to the recency bias or its utter perfection, but even after 45 years, Taxi Driver shows no signs of running out of fuel at all while driving home the point of what a nightmare it will be when the only place where your true-self or reflection is visible happens to be in the mirror!

Taxi Driver was among the earliest of ones when I started watching Hollywood films some 4 years ago and as far back as I can remember, it was my second Scorsese after The Wolf of Wall Street. It's not only a film that will age well for the ages but also a film where if you are like me who happily slept on it after liking it on the first watch for some wrong reasons, then on the subsequent rewatch, it might be a wakeup call at a better age for appreciating the film more and more from a technical as well as a thematic standpoint if you too can become a Travis Bickle suffering from insomnia while thinking about what all happened in the film or rather what came close to happening but didn't. For that matter, you may just trust me on how much this film rewards repeat viewings by making repeats seem like premieres and on "ONE OF THESE D̶A̶Y̶S̶" rewatches, your thoughts "GONNA GET- ORGANIZ-IZED"!

This was my second full-length rewatch although I watched it in bits and pieces for some scenes on the day when Micahel Chapman passed away recently, be it for the lit lighting schemes used in employing the New York City as a separate character in itself, or, for the scene where the camera looks away from Travis by cutting to the hallway when he is on a call with Betsy, or, for how the camera looks down on Travis at the end that too ironically just after a heroic kinda act, thanks to a signature Scorsese God's-eye view shot (TIL that it was actually Paul Schrader's idea while writing the screenplay) and how the former shot renders someone difficult to accept or look at the rejection faced by Travis. Also, on this rewatch, I made more sense of that gesture made at the end by Travis due to my now acquired knowledge of the Samurai code of honour from Japenese Cinema or from my recent watch of Le Samouraï that influenced Taxi Driver in both the former Samurai sense as well as how frames filled with empty spaces can fill all the space of our imagination and how a character can truly cause a greater explosion in silence than in The Dialogue or with the lack of gun than in the presence of a gun. Then, how dare people still call Travis as a loner despite the fact that he was always accompanied by Bernard Herrmann's heavenly sax/jazz melodic score that actually permeated a world of hell outside and inside of Travis!

On a throwback note, I watched Taxi Driver for the first time during a time when I was not that used to writing my thoughts on a film at length and so all I could come up with, in a probably funny but fitting manner while sharing the experience with a friend of mine who already watched the film, was the below:

Iris (Ah, how deliberate even this character-name looks for the way her case potentially transformed Travis as a person in the eyes of the people): Did you ever try looking at your own eyeballs in the mirror?
*Travis looks at them in the rearview mirror*

M S Krishna Prateek liked these reviews