However, Travis is considering an act that would not be socially acceptable at all—killing Palantine. He believes that a President should clean up and flush out the mess in the city, and even prefers vigilantism—taking the law into his own hands. Travis can be charming and extremely friendly at times, but also becomes very unreliable. In the next scene, we see Travis approach a group of friends at a diner at night, discussing women. Spinning an elaborate back-handed seduction, Travis tells her that she seems like an unhappy person in need of some company. The only passenger he talks with is the presidential candidate Palantine, and even here, Travis provides a false exterior by claiming to be an avid supporter of the politician and smiling with the same false grin he gives the taxi dispatcher earlier in the film. Desperate to clean up the city, he succeeds in murdering some pimps and rescues a teen prostitute—but fails at suicide.
Instead of dying in the shootout, Travis survives and becomes a local hero, despite having murdered several people in cold blood. That same night in Chicago, just around the time our screening of Taxi Driver was emptying out, a young man and woman were by a shooter near the United Center where the Chicago Bulls play. Shortly after this moment, Travis buys his first guns from Easy Andy Stephen Prince , a travelling salesman. But Travis holds his clenched fist over the burning stovetop as a way of toughening his body and mind. The thing that makes me very skeptical is how the ending not only portrays Travis as a hero but does so in a way very flattering to Travis' worldview. The film shows several press clippings hanging on the wall of Travis's room as well as a thankful letter written by Iris's parents. We screened the film on 26 February, 2005.
She challenges Tom to come up with a way to light a match using only two fingers. Out of this filthy mass. What he wants above all else is for everything to work out. On his date with Betsy, he takes her to a Swedish sex education film, which repulses her and she storms out. Simple poise and status do not impress her; she seeks out the extraordinary qualities in men.
This is life in America. Well, I'm the only one here. Travis has the same outcome in mind, but intends to use more direct means of achieving it, getting the idea to assassinate his rival Palantine when he becomes involved with the same woman, Betsy. Either way, the film ends on a cynical note. I feel like Scorcese does.
Travis, not God, creates this destiny. Eight rallies in six more days. Splattered in blood and with an ice-cold death wish, Travis becomes a deranged mafia of one, concerned only with vengeance and his own peculiar definition of justice. In bars, in cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. Other characters, such as Iris and Wizard, have their own views about how they might change their destinies.
My understanding was that Scorsese has been relatively clear about the fact that Bickle did survive and that he was seen as a hero by the public. He goes into a pornographic movie theater, and walks past the popcorn, the sounds of sexual moaning playing in the background. While not concerete proof I think this lends more weight to it all being in his head. Travis drops his gun down the stairs and falls, before turning back and shooting the man in the pinstripe suit numerous times with yet a different gun, in the face and chest. He is something of a pathological liar — leading his parents to believe that he has a completely different life. He is also desperate to have that for himself.
The scene shifts to Travis' apartment, where he sits in a small, dingy apartment, writing in a journal. When I was small, the idea of a gun made me feel big. Since Iris was being pimped out when Travis came in shooting she was, according to the law, being raped, which means that Travis used violence in the defense of another, which is permissable under the law. The arriving cops just stare as Travis pretends to shoot himself in the head with his own bloody fingers. Going back to the concessions stand, Travis attempts to flirt with the girl selling popcorn, persistently asking for her name. Was there something specific about this situation regarding why Travis was not jailed if the ending were real and not imagined in his head for his vigilantism? His character seems to possess a state of bliss.
If it was, then it wouldn't make sense that he would have the weird look into the rearview mirror scene. If Travis had started to come unhinged in Part 4, he has truly let go in this final section. I fit the basic profile — white, straight, male. We see, through Travis' eyes, the top of a taxi dispatcher's desk, candy on a movie counter, guns on a bed, and finally, with the camera apparently seeing through the ceiling, an overhead shot of the massacre in the red-light building. But he chooses a porno movie, alienating her from him. Even though he's idealized Betsy into this angel-goddess—instead of seeing her as, like, a person—he thinks taking her to a porno movie would be a great first date idea.
When the police arrive, he pantomimes a gun with his hand and places it again his head, making the sound of gunfire from deep in his throat. She is curious, intrigued, tantalized. I also believe that Taxi Driver, a film built on a scaffold of gun violence and firearm fetishisation, is an essential piece of cinema from which I derive great personal and artistic meaning. In a way, this plot twist validates Travis's criticisms of New York society, which tolerates and even praises violent criminal behavior. The end of the movie is an orgy of violence.
In these weapons of death, Travis sees an identity, a purpose, and a way to reach out to those who have ignored him. If you believe Bickle dies, suddenly the meaning of the entire movie changes. The scene shifts to show Travis speaking to his group of taxi-driving friends outside the St. While another filmmaker who rose to prominence in the 1970s, Woody Allen, was famous for depicting New York as a romantic playground for urbane artists and intellectuals, Scorsese contrastingly presents an unforgiving and dirty island, overrun with criminals, hoods, and prostitutes. Would we have seen Travis as a hero if he followed through with this plot instead of going to save Iris? When Betsy asks why they use a canary rather than a pigeon, Tom deduces that it is because pigeons are not available in pet stores, which seems to delight Betsy.