I couldn’t sleep last night and ended up watching Taxi Driver. The way that film walks the fine line between hero and villain is superb. Travis’s descent into insanity is juxtaposed with a world gone mad, and that’s what makes the whole thing so brilliant. It’s the fact that Travis is a morally sound character, but yet he’s complex, visiting porno theaters at 3 am and doing so, not for sexual gratification, but simply because he thinks it’s something people just do. He doesn’t understand that it’s ‘dirty’. Throughout the movie he remains as a symbol of innocence like this, only he has a bad idea growing in his head.
Overwhelmed by a depraved society, he chooses not to assassinate the senator to prove something to Betsy, and instead shoots up a pimp and his crew for whoring out a twelve year old girl. He makes a moral decision.
Is the world any crazier than Travis Bickle? Is he a villain? No. At least I don’t think so. In fact, I think the film carries a very Christian message in terms of its apocalyptic nature, and, if examined closely, we can see Travis as a Jesus-like character.
” Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets,”