Shredder wrote:Taxi Driver. Think the ending's totally wrong.
The way that after he's gone on his rather minor rampage and killed Harvey Keitel, Bickle just returns to a kind of normal life; he seems to be satisfied by having killed just one pimp. The rest of the film has built up a lot more than that and it seems something of a cop-out ending to me.
Sorry for wasting all that space
Basically, I don;t think the film is suggesting that he's back to normal, particularly in the way the last few frames are shot (Bernard Hermann's theme is played backwards in a 'sting' for one), more than that he's hailed as a tabloid hero in the same way John Wayne's Ethan Hunt seems to be the 'hero' in "The Searchers" (and "The Searchers" is the closest to Taxi Driver).
Scorsese took this idea and run with it wholesale in the "King of Comedy": in its own way, Rupert Pupkin's crushingly mediocre stand-up routine getting celebrated (after capturing and detaining the Jerry Lewis character) is just as vile as Taxi Driver's ending. In fact, King of Comedy sticks to its thesis far more closely too, it's the better, more successful film. But 'Taxi Driver' has a greater impact. The Searchers is probably more elqoeunt in dealing with a characters' barely suppressed racism, too. Somehow Taxi Driver just goes the gut spectacularly.
I don;t think he ends up all 'fine' either: he's twitching uncontrollably in the cab when he picks up Betsy (and why the hell is it that Betsy is framed in angelic glow), in fact the final shot is very off-kilter. The lighting is very fazed, the newspaper clippings read suspiciously close to Travis' monologues. Schrader was never the most subtle of screenwriters, but I think his lack of subtlety is paramount to the picture. But I understand where you're coming from, too.
Yeah, and I know that the "Russian Roulette" scenes should be kept there in The Deer Hunter, but gosh it makes it hard to like. I still think the sections back home are the most powerful and subtly done. If I view it as fiction (which it undeniably is), then its soothes me a bit. And I guess they're meant to be difficult.
It's before my time but I've been told, he never came back from Karangahape Road.