3. “Taxi Driver” (1976)
Scorsese’s fascination with madness brilliantly manifests itself in his masterpiece “Taxi Driver.” After coming back from the Vietnam War, Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) becomes a taxi driver. On the job, he recognizes a desire to clean up the dark world around him. Scorsese’s utilization of color and mise en scène further and deepen the story in more ways than one. Red throughout seems to burst off the screen, making us as mad as Bickle. Through person-to-person reasoning to political action, Bickle becomes frustrated he isn’t seeing the change in the world he wanted. Bickle’s desire to right the wrongs of the world manifest themselves in Iris (Jodie Foster), a child prostitute. Even with the truest intentions, Bickle soon becomes that which he fears the most as he takes matters into his own hands. It’s one of Scorsese’s most controlled and effective uses of his considerable directorial gifts.