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A movie is a visual medium and normally attempts to portray certain parts of written piece of thoughts of characters not explicitly expressed. The film Taxi Driver by Martin Scorsese displays the frustrations of an ex-marine officer in New York City who becomes a taxi driver to contain his chronic insomnia condition. The customs in the city are too much for this driver who served in the just concluded Second World War.
Produced in 1976, this movie was met with criticism and support in equal measure. On the other hand, the film Dances with Wolves by Kevin Costner is often described as a classical masterpiece of the early 1990s due to its unique theme.
The unique cinematography and performances have perfectly fused to express the main theme especially when the characters interact showing emotions and mood in every scene. This analytical treatise attempts to explicitly compare and contrast the cinematic themes creates by the two directors.
Recognizing the themes of loyalty and moral crisis, Scorsese brings this movie to life. He creates a very human action thriller that combines stories of both self-discovery and love for the taxi driver called Travis. Scorsese convincingly mingles the ‘futuristic’ and the ‘realistic’ imaginations to create a world of exotic reality in the busy city life.
There is a lot of violence and prostitution in the New York City. Travis has to adopt very radical actions to try and restore order. He shots the little Irish ‘pimp’ and his friends for encouraging the young lady into prostitution.
On the other hand, Costner in the film Dance with Wolves revises roles as defined by traditions of the Indians and Cowboys. As depicted in the film, tradition and religion control the lives of characters. Specifically, the Sioux tribe is depicted as a unique and traditional society. The American soldiers are portrayed as imperfect, genuine, viciously brutal, and semi thoughtless.
Traditions control the mourning of Elgin who is a lieutenant and Stone. Despite attempting to quantify historical events into context, the film has little on reversal aspect. The movie commences with a civil war featuring antagonists and protagonists of tradition as both teams attempt to create a diversion.
In addition, the Native Americans are painted as traditionally united group who appreciate peace, with strong family bonds and are desperate for opportunity of survival in the strife.
Unlike the film Taxi Driver, the film Dance with Wolves misses the truly poetic orchestrations of actions and heroic displays of bravado. The film Taxi Driver has an intriguing premise: heroism after dejection.
In the film Dance with Wolves, the director seems to be unable to convey the poetry and philosophical inclinations of the colonial masters and the natives of India. At the end, the underlying fear and destabilizations of the imaginative explorations mere summarized the plot rather giving it a poetic identity.
The film Taxi Driver has the urban plot and the story revolves around a single actor. The actions of the taxi driver affect other actors directly in this action packed piece. Reflectively, this creates a feeling of imaginative casting. Scorsese even goes ahead to include slow motion pictures, yet the film is a high speed genre.
Travis is a character in the movie and always is worried of what will happen next. His character is associated with the unfortunate events when he loses his ‘girlfriend’ after his strategy to take her to a sex movie fires back.
In comparison, the film Dance with Wolves revolves around ‘the kicking bird’ and ‘Wind in His Hair’ that come to the society of the Sioux. The new society’s of the Sioux philosophy is to “take without asking”. During the film, characters display a clear caricature hint which defies traditional stereotyping. At the climax, Dunbar defects from traditional culture to new culture.
To align to the traditional setting aspects on production design and the society, this film heightens hyper-real palate of emotional expression. Moreover, this choice of setting was essential in the need for a proper balance of production aural, sound accordion, and scenes characterized by traditional practices such as sharing of pipe. Subsequently, this balance has facilitated the addition of decadent love and hatred feelings in the film.
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The endings of the two genres are quite different. The taxi driver realizes that the item that he never valued turns about to be a necessity for his survival. After being arrested and interrogated by the police, he walks out a hero. On the other hand, the ending of the film Dance with Wolves paints the indigenous Sioux community as people united by shamanism religion and tradition.
The film ends with these people still in the bondage of neocolonialism. The two directors adopt totally different approaches and settings in the two films. Scorsese adopts the urban setting and modern way of life, while Costner adopts the traditional setting and the traditional way of life.