Free Taxi Driver: A “hero” who would not take it anymore Essay Sample
The Taxi Driver movie was filmed in 1976 by Martin Scorsese. It is about the daily life of a psychologically unstable vet who works as a taxi driver. Traveling through the streets of New York, the hero feels how his disgust grows. Almost every night, Travis watches the other side of the city. While the taxi driver silently sits at the wheel of his car, something happens around that he simply cannot ignore. He is acquainted with the quean Iris and tries to help her. However, his initiative and his desire to remedy the situation leads to lies to himself, because heroism for him is a way to get rid of loneliness and to achieve a certain socialization.
As for all of his movies, Martin Scorsese approached the shooting process very responsibly. For Taxi Driver, Scorsese chose the idiosyncratic way of the narrative. The viewer sees only the world that the main character does. This technique of limited narrative allows the viewer to understand the main character, to feel in his place. The audience of the film, at the same time, has no other options and prospects to evaluate the environment of the movie in any other way. It is necessary to accept the world as Travis sees it. The sharp and rough statements of Travis about the surrounding world add realism and provide an opportunity to understand the main character. For example, Travis says, All the animals come out at night whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers, junkies, sick, venal. Thanks to such a phrase, the director have created the right sentiment for the entire film and its subsequent scenes, as well as a sense of oppression and chaos in New York. Moreover, the demonstration of the coarse character of the protagonist at the beginning enables the audience to become interested in the subsequent events and to want to know what will happen next.
Thanking the incomplete disclosure of the prehistory of the protagonist, the director was able to create a sense of mystery and ambiguity. The viewer can only guess about the reasons for his sociopathy and hatred of the world as a whole. All that the viewer can know exactly s that Travis was a participant in the war in Vietnam. The violent pressure inside his skull is made worse by listening to the psychotic fantasies of a creepy passenger, a cameo from Scorsese himself. The movie tells nothing about Traviss relationships, family (the viewer can see a greeting card for his parents only), his infancy and childhood, or student years and so on. In other words, the audience does not know of any reason why Travis became such an antisocial personality, why he feels hatred for every passer-by, and why he has such unstable behavior. The spectator can presume about PTSD or mental illness of the protagonist or any other problems in mental development. According to Thompson, Traviss problem is the same as the existential heros, that is, should I exist? But Travis doesnt understand that this is his problem. All this creates a large number of questions, and the viewer waits to find the answers to them by watching the movie. At the same time, the main character does not evoke sympathy, hatred, disgust or dislike. The only feeling that the viewer feels for the protagonist is a feeling of isolation and closeness from the outside world. Travis is an outsider of the city and the whole society. In fact, every person once experiences such feelings. Therefore, many viewers can find something in common with Travis.
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Everybody experiences a feeling of anger, frustration, confusion, weakness, and sociopathy. Many of us often do not want to contact the world and close in our thoughts. Therefore, Traviss qualities often turn out to be similar to those of most people. However, he is much more depressed than many spectators are. His mental state is much more unstable, and the attitude towards the world is much more negative. But the main character is aware of his problems and is concerned about feelings that indicate his mental instability. He suffers from insomnia, talking to himself and use drugs. The director, at the same time, created the movie in such a way that viewers understand the whole essence of what is happening and enter Traviss position. It is possible to understand his suffering since when watching a movie, the viewer should find answers to all new questions. For viewers, this motion picture is a way for releasing feelings and emotions. At the same time, they are not amenable for any kind of abuses, such as mass incidents of violence. Travis, while, is the only carrier that can facilitate the attitude to the movie. He once said, Here is a man who would not take it anymore. A man who stood up against the scum, the cunts, the dogs, the filth, the shit. This quote confirms the fact that Travis needs viewers to help them solve all the bad feelings.
In the second part of the movie, Travis saves the life of Iris. At least, he thinks so. But the main character is forced to do it for the sake of self-indulgence, and not out of pure intentions. For him, Iris is a way to self-actualize and prove to himself his role in society. Travis does not understand Iris; he does not know her feelings and does not understand what she is going through. Being a prostitute, Iris also wants to self-actualize, be a supporter of the hippy culture and prove to herself her sexual freedom. Travis refuses to understand this, and takes radical decisions to complete his mission. He said, Now I see this clearly. My whole life is pointed in one direction. There never has been a choice for me. This phrase gives reason to believe that his decision was completely irrational and even crazy. The protagonist commits several murders in order not only to save Iris from sexual slavery, but also to solve the problem with bewilderment and self-realization. By this point, the events in the film are developing in such a way that the viewer feels sympathy for Travis, but feels discomfort in his behavior. Nevertheless, this is the only solution for the protagonist.
One of scenes makes it clear that the result of the movie does not meet the expectations of the viewer. After Travis arranged a shootout in the brothel, and Iris was saved, the audience did not receive answers to their questions, which were asked at the beginning of the film. Travis wrote a letter to Iris, indicating he would soon die. He thought so as he wanted to commit suicide, but he did not have enough ammunition for the last shot. The protagonist also left money for Iris to return home. She can take money and start a usual life, or continue to engage in prostitution. However, this is not the worry of Travis. After an unsuccessful suicide attempt, he pays more attention to his honor to the hero, which immediately causes a feeling of dislike for the protagonist. Moreover, he collected all articles from newspapers that wrote about the shootout in the brothel and hung them on his wall to admire his achievement. It seems to the viewer that Travis has achieved his dream, and he has satisfied his desire to do something truly worthwhile. Notwithstanding, nobody knows if this fact is real.
At the end of the movie, Travis meets Betsy again. Now she is in love with him, but he moves on. When Betsy gets out of the car, Travis moves the rearview mirror, and she disappears from his gaze. Betsy says that he will not see her again. However, he can see the same city that was shown at the beginning of the film. Dirty, damp, melancholy New York remained the place of life and work of Travis. For clarity, the director used the same music as at the beginning of the movie, as well as a large angle for demonstrating Traviss connection with the city. Thus, the film ends. The viewer is perplexed, because the questions were not answered. Instead, many more questions appear that the one wants to find an answer to. Schrader said about the movie, We dont properly understand the nature of the problem. Nobody knows what happened to Travis after the last meeting, how much he recovered, how his behavior became stable, whether there was insomnia and so on. Most likely, he remained an outsider in the city, and his condition will worsen. The only thing remains the fact; Betsys salvation was for self-affirmation and self-satisfaction. Due to such uncertainty, the strong but controversial character of the protagonist, the director managed to create a successful film in which each viewer will find similar situations and traits. However, at the same time, the audience will be asked new questions that will remain unanswered.