Essay about Taxi Driver, Directed by Martin Scorsese

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“Taxi Driver”


New York City that is depicted in Taxi Driver seems to be too real to be true. It is a place where violence runs rampant, drugs are cheap, and sex is easy. This world may be all too familiar to many that live in major metropolitan areas. But, in the film there is something interesting, and vibrant about the streets that Travis Bickle drives alone, despite the amount of danger and turmoil that overshadows everything in the nights of the city. In the film “Taxi Driver” director Martin Scorsese and writer Paul Schrader find and express a trial that many people face, the search for belonging and acceptance.

The character of Travis Bickle roams the nights in his taxi cab, and witnesses all of this “open sewer”
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Travis thinks he wants to live a normal life, and get out of the hell he lives in, but not quite sure how to go about getting out of this hell. Travis is also moderately insane but, nevertheless he devises a plan to save the young prostitute, Iris, and himself from his taxi cab prison. The beauty of this film climaxes when Travis goes to free Iris from the evil clutches of her pimp, Sport. When Travis approaches Sport, a second time, a question arises, “Why is Travis paying this grotesque man another visit?” but, then all is made clear when Travis draws his pistol and attempts to liberate Iris from her prison.

The entire scene gives a strange feeling of redemption. Travis has redeemed himself from the world that he lived in by ridding it of this evil and freeing something that has potential to become something very beautiful. This redeeming feeling is reinforced when Scorsese’s extreme overhead angle is shot, frozen, and begins to retrace the path of blood and bodies that Travis has defeated to save his damsel in distress, his Rapunzel, Iris.

The film ends with Travis, a hero for the day, returning to his job as a cabbie. One can’t help but wonder is this outcome what really happened, or is it what Travis thought would’ve happened. Travis receiving letters from the grateful parents of Iris for returning her…

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