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Taxi Driver

Title: Taxi Driver
Directed by:
Martin Scorsese
Written by:
Paul Schrader
Year: 1976

Continuing my project to watch the top 100 films of IMDB’s top 250, I recently watched Taxi Driver. This 1976 film has several qualities, but when the credits show at the end, I am not satisfied, even though I feel it is difficult to explain why. The film has received high praise since its release and most people seem to agree that it is a very good film indeed.

The story revolves around Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), who introduces himself as an honourably discharged Vietnam veteran. Suffering from insomnia, he takes a nighttime job as a taxi driver, working long shifts and spending sleepless days watching pornographic films. He becomes interested in campaign worker Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), but being turned down after initial progress, he turns violent. Arming himself, he sets out to clear the city of the petty crime he has come to loath. This feeling of inadequacy comes mainly from his failure to act when child-prostitute Iris (Jodie Foster) tried to escape her pimp by entering Travis’ car.

To begin with,Taxi Driver is very well made. Robert De Niro is excellent as Travis and most supporting roles are also well portrayed. This lends credibility to the film, which somehow feels important in this case. However, I am not quite sure about the story. Yes, it is well-written, but no, I do not think it is brilliant. It is adequate and I would like to say it works as intended, but that I just do not like it very much. It is a reasonable framework for the excellent acting and directing, but not more.

Conclusively, the acting and directing merits five snails, but I only give Taxi Driver four because of the weak story and the fact that the film does not bring me even to the outskirts of awesome land.

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