In the movie Taxi Driver, there are many different views on the main character, Travis Bickle. There are different opinions on whether he is a maniac or a hero. It is hard to have a satisfying answer to this question, but it is safe to say that what he did, at least in his mind, was the right thing to do. Besides when he attempted to assassinate senator Palantine, But that was done for the movie to show a political message. That message is that sometimes political leaders are just as bad as the pimp’s and the robbers that lie, cheat, and steal. Through the movie he is always seen as an outsider, someone who doesn’t quite belong where he is. They keep referring to him as the cowboy, and how he isn’t quite normal. In the diner on his date with Betsy she says that she has never met someone quite like him, and this really shows the character difference of his compared to all of the “scum” that he has to deal with and see run around the city on his late night shifts. This shows how he is somewhat of that cowboy sheriff in town, and in some way justifies his actions. Travis’ moment of vigilantism shows his heroism, how his actions become justified through the community and how he deserves the labeled a hero.
There have been many reviews of this film over the past thirty years, but most of them have given the same notion of how Travis loses his innocence by the ending and how monstrous a person Travis is for his vigilantism. To me this is a narrow minded point of view, just because Travis is a normal person and kills these scumbags of New York doesn’t make him any less of a hero compared to any police officer or soldier in the army who does the same thing. The ending of Taxi driver creates an ironic twist which makes the movie what it is. In spite of his strange behavior towards Betsy, his killing a black man, attempted murder of Palantine, and the insane blood bath at the pimp 's hangout, the psychopathic Travis Bickle is still a hero
Cited: Caron, Andre. "The Temptation of Travis Bickle." Hors Champ. Web. 25 Oct. 2011. . Ebert, Roger."Taxi driver.” Movie Reviews, Essays and the Movie Answer Man from Film Critic Roger Ebert. 25 Oct. 2011.. Knight."Taxi driver as Radicalized Film Noir." Scribd. 25 Oct. 2011. Quart, Leonard. "A Slice of Delirium: Scorsese 's Taxi driver Revisited." Film Criticism 19.3 (1995): 67-71. Film & Television Literature Index with Full Text. EBSCO.