Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver ★★★★

Somehow even more enigmatic than I remember it.

De Niro's performance remains a singular and unnerving thing. And Travis himself struck me this time as not just eccentric or mentally ill, but existing entirely out of time—from nowhere. Not just "God's lonely man" or a "walking contradiction," but a man who seems wholly new to this world. His naivete, his awkwardness, his fixations and suggestibility. And he might have come off as a mere construct of Schrader's own obsessions if not for De Niro's still astonishing work bringing Travis to life.

A question:
Why are there scenes in the film that don't have Travis in them?
I'm thinking specifically of the scenes with Brooks and Shepherd in the campaign office. The film seems designed to put us in Travis's headspace and those scenes struck me this time as really out of place. There's another one at the coffee shop with the other drivers before Travis shows up. And then there's the scene between Keitel and Foster (though this could, I think, be interpreted as a Travis fantasy, as much of the end of the film has been.)

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