even if i ignore how absolutely detestable i find the message and conclusion of this film, it didn't have much going for it. the characterization feels woefully incomplete, the technical aspects never rise above passable, and its self-indulgence seems to have both codified and informed the (real life) archetype of the Self-Righteous American Asshole. i think this film has done far more harm than good.
How does a man whose sole entertainment in life is porn, and apparently assumes that porn is all anyone else watches, get so morally torn up by the sight of prostitutes? Let's chalk it up to compartmentalization, I guess (he's a man of contractions, as they say), and embrace the glory of the great psychological spiral downward, well acted, with camerawork and a soundtrack to match. I'll watch it again real soon.
Do I agree with the sentiment of the lonely, disillusioned- if not, deranged- cabbie? No. Does his manifesto have some real power behind it? Yes. I guess therein lies the persuasion of Scorsese asking his viewers to care about the protagonist’s plight without actually empathizing with it. He’s a killer, a misogynist and a racist, yet you find yourself rooting for him. Maybe problematic, but a great film nonetheless.
2.5. Completely failed to see why this is so highly lauded! Borderline boring with the cursory treatment of loneliness of a working-class person the only half-good thing to write about. That angle had some promise but really doesn't get anywhere. And that atrocious dramatic music is absolutely out of sync with the overall aesthetic of the movie. Overall the movie pretends to be so much without being anything solid.
The ultimate character study film. As much as he make's you uncomfortable, we all see a Travis Bickle in us all, living in a city he sees all the blemishes, the imperfections and it's a sea of inner resentment and anger waiting to explode. The narrated journals keeps us updated until eventually we merge into Travis thoughts, loneliness, awkward human interactions and a fucked up saviour wielding a firearm and mohawk.