☆ Sophie ☆’s review published on Letterboxd:
The script of Taxi Driver feels like it was built like a diary, the diary of a very ordinary guy who gets hired as a night taxi driver back from Vietnam because he can't sleep at night. A very average guy who tries to break his isolation, but can't, while violence accumulates inside him. The gradual transformation of man into beast in this movie is chilling. It's still funny and pathetic when the hero threatens himself in front of the mirror (you're talkin' to me?), but when he comes out with a mohawk hairdo and dark glasses, it's evident that nasty stuff is going to take place. Travis (De Niro) was about to murder the candidate for the presidency, "god's lonely man" fails and instead kills a vicious pimp who exploits teenage prostitutes. The potential criminal becomes a hero for a day. De Niro's performance is phenomenal, and Scorsese's direction is fantastic.
Most of the movie takes place at night. The credits open on the blazing lights of the yellow taxi cab, moving slowly in the dark rainy streets. A kaleidoscope of neon light appears through the dripping windows as the driver's eyes blink in the front mirror. The night is the hero's universe; it's the time when "all the animals come out," as he says. By contrast, the few daylight scenes look somewhat off-key, but this was intentional. The final scene still appears today as extremely violent, but at least it shows murder for what it is. Brutal, ugly, crude. Real violence is not casual when you face it, and here is a film that makes you face it. I'm a sucker for a great "descent into madness" film, and this film hits the nail right on the head. The ending of this film is my favorite part.
Do you think the end was real? Or was it just Travis's dying fantasy?