This review contains spoilers!
This movie is very, very reminiscent of Taxi Driver perhaps at times even more unnerving. I think that in some ways Rupert Pupkin is the antithesis of Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle. Where Travis is quiet and brooding Rupert is loud and demanding, Rupert is also significantly more selfish than Travis. Travis originally has greatly selfish desires to kill the senator but once those plans fall through he changes his mission to saving Iris, a significantly more valiant idea. Even if we can assume it was a facade just to be able act on Travis’ own twisted world view it is still something that may remove some evil from the world.
In the King of Comedy Rupert has only one goal in mind, to be the King for a night. He doesn’t care how he gets there or if he stays as he states in his monologue, “better to be king for a night than schmuck for a lifetime.” I really think that this encompasses his character and shows why he had made some of his decisions earlier in the movie.
I loved his weird daydreams and just when you understand that those havent actually been happening Rupert and Rita arrive at Jerry’s house. Of course you think its another daydream but it ends up being very real and very awkward. I think this is easily the best scene in the movie because of how it plays on your expectations, you are in the same boat as Rita not knowing what is going on. You expect some weird dream world and get the harsh reality of Rupert being out of his mind.
On the other hand I really hated the Sandra Bernhard character, she added nothing to movie. Her character was completely useless, nothing she does or says moves the movie forward other than letting Jerry go but nothing even comes of that. She takes up valuable screen time that ruins the pacing of the latter half the movie.
Overall the movie was good, it could have been great if it were just a little more focused on Rupert or mainly just cut some of the superfluous scenes with Sandra Bernhard’s character.