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This paper analyzes the themes of loneliness, racism, television, and violence in the film, "Taxi Driver", and discusses how the directing and production values of the film are used to accentuate and illustrate these themes. The paper also analyzes the protagonist of the film, Travis Bickle, and documents his downward spiral into psychosis. The paper emphasizes the protagonist's isolation and the symbolism in the movie that exemplifies that isolation.
From the Paper:"While Bickle' loneliness is very evident from the beginning of the film, it is important to discuss the loneliness Betsy feels as well. This is significant because it solidifies loneliness as a central theme in Taxi Driver. Betsy is seen as an object of attraction for Bickle initially, and viewed as a minor character as a whole. However, her very presence actually enhances this theme. During a casual conversation at her job, she instantly becomes more relatable to the wider audience. However, it becomes apparent that this banter is superficial, and casual flirting is generally all that Betsy has experienced. This idea may seem unimportant at first; however, when she accepts a lunch invitation from a stranger man, the audience suddenly realizes the extent of Betsy's loneliness. While it may not seem as desperate as some of Bickle's actions, she is obviously yearning for a more complex relationship than a casual side-glance from a coworker. Betsy's loneliness directly correlates with Bickle's because it shows that through his eyes, and those of the audience, he is far worse off than the normal lonely New Yorker is. Scorsese shows us this difference very specifically during their date at the pornographic film, when Betsy shows disgust as Bickle looks on in obvious confusion. Ultimately, the loneliness that Bickle is dealing with is far more advanced, and much closer to hopeless, than what Betsy is going through."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Bliss, Michael. An Interview with Paul Schrader. Film Quarterly, 54(1), 2000.
- Braudy, Leo. The Sacraments of Genre: Coppola, DePalma, Scorsese. Film Quarterly, 39(3), 1986.
- Wexman, Virginia Wright. Cinema Journal, 20(1). 1980.
Cite this Film Review:
"Taxi Driver" (2009, December 13) Retrieved November 25, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/film-review/taxi-driver-117633/
""Taxi Driver"" 13 December 2009. Web. 25 November. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/film-review/taxi-driver-117633/>