A Scorsese cult classic is finally coming to Netflix

Image: IMDb

Fans of the accomplished director will be excited to count in the new year becau se Martin Scorsese‘s Taxi Driver is hitting streaming giant Netflix on January 1st.

The 1976 film is one of Scorsese’s most famous pieces of work and is recognized as one of the most realistic and poignant depictions of radicalization. It follows Travis Bickle, a mentally unstable veteran who works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City. After witnessing firsthand the scum society has produced, he decides to save an underage prostitute from her pimp in an effort to clean the city of its corruption.

What makes the film so incredibly special is the design of Bickle as a flawed protagonist that is expertly portrayed by Oscar winner Robert De Niro. Bickle is a lonely man who seeks recognition but in a society obsessed with violence, Bickle will only be rewarded if he commits violent acts.

Much of the script is narrated from a first person point of view which puts you inside the mind of Bickle. This is one of the most terrifying devices because hearing Bickle’s thoughts makes you sympathize with him. He’s charming, despite being a loner who hates society. You can only respect his honest outlook on the world around him and the character has a certain charm you can’t help but fall for. De Niro improvising the iconic “you talkin’ to me” line sells the character even more.

That is until the illusion is shattered and viewers see Bickle for who he truly is. But by this point it is already too late, you have already made excuses for Bickle’s behavior and you now understand he was always a monster. He didn’t become this way over the course of the film, no. He was always like this but you chose to ignore the warning signs.

The film is a perfect reflection of how society ignores the warning signs of people who are radicalized every single day right within your community. It’s no surprise the film was nominated for four Oscars and is still to this day considered one of Scorsese’s best pieces of work. You can re-live the poignant experience in just a couple more days when it’s available on Netflix.