But I found it more a portrait of an individual suffering alienation as he is unable to connect with anyone else. Effectively isolated from the people who surround him, he descends into violent insanity but is ultimately redeemed when he turns his attention away from the political candidate and instead targets the pimp.
Really, every character in the film is alienated from society in different ways. We have a city of people who do not connect with or relate to the people they’re physically close to.
It’s interesting how the difference between Bickel’s ending up a hero instead of a villainous assassin was a matter of chance–the secret service agent who noticed him and chased him off. Had Bickel’s original plan gone off as intended, he’d have finished off the film either dead or imprisoned, but in either case he’d have been a bad guy and not a hero.