This week we watched the movie Taxi Driver. I found this movie to be engaging in the way it followed Travis Bickle’s descent into becoming a psychopath.
He starts as an everyday sort of guy. He’s a bit of a wise ass, but that is just a coping mechanism for him. Deep down he is trouble by whatever he did in the military. This leads him to work strange hours and even take a job driving a taxi during the night shift. I think that in reality, his descent started long before he ever sees Betsy.
So, what is next for a guy like Travis? He happens to be sitting outside just people watching and here comes Betsy. Travis is instantly attracted to her, but instead of going through the usual ritual of talking to a girl he stalks her. How creepy is it that he sits outside his cab drinking a coke just watching her. I am sorry, but if a guy did that and it bothered me, I sure wouldn’t turn around and go out with him. Yet, that is what Betsy does.
In a way, I felt bad for Travis. The guy is clueless about how to interact with people. He almost badgers her into going out for coffee and then somehow, he can convince her to go on a date. The date, of course, is a disaster because he takes her to a porn film. I don’t know if I find that believable.
After she rejects him, Travis is on a downward spiral into his living hell. I can see where someone would be down after that. He meets Iris who ran away from home and is being pimped out. Now, he seems to attach himself to her. Trying to save her. While I think this is noble, it made me wonder if Iris just wasn’t a surrogate for Betsy? Not in a sexual way more that she was something that should have been left pure and innocent like he saw Betsy, an angel.
I felt like the movie after his involvement with Iris is a bit far-fetched. It was like being on an acid trip that he after the scum that he thought should be removed from the city. But in doing so, he became like them. He killed people and was hailed a hero. In reality, I just don’t see how this is possible. There is something wrong with this man, and yet they don’t see it.
The movie was just a jumble to me, but I think that worked in a way. It allowed us to be so far inside Travis’s head that we were able to experience the world as he saw it. There was very little good and what little good he found he tried to protect it. While I find that noble the way he did it was wrong.
Taxi Driver was interesting, and the characters were brilliantly written. Even though they were from different walks of life, they were all connected. The descent into his madness could have been handled better. Overall, it wasn’t a bad movie. Just not my cup of tea.