6. Taxi Driver (1976)
They're all animals anyway. All the animals come out at night: Whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers, junkies, sick, venal. (a beat) Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.
Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) is one of those iconic characters that haunt you for a long time after your first viewing experience. Both his words and actions are deliberately ambiguous, making us question what exactly “goodness” is. The voice-over may not clear everything up, but it’s certainly very well used in Taxi Driver. Told in the form of rambling diary entries, it is important to recognize that Bickle isn’t actually talking to his audience; he is talking to himself, and we have no choice but to listen and try to find some sort of understanding. At first, he speaks with authority and truth, and we believe him and relate to him. However, once the cracks start to appear, we begin questioning him. Are these the ramblings of a deranged man, or is he just saying what the rest of the world dare not?