This movie, based on Ayn Rand’s novel, was both thought provoking and enjoyable. When it ended I thought, darn! I have to wait one year for Part II to be released, and two years for Part III! (If the producers keep on schedule, and I hope they do.)
I’ve read ‘Shrugged’ a couple of times and I’m a fan of Ayn Rand’s writing, so I have many biases. The 97 minute Part I movie moved fast, but considering that the novel itself encompasses 1,000 pages divided into three major parts, it’s understandable that it had to in order to cover the territory. I’m glad it wasn’t any longer as when all three parts are available I imagine many people will want to view them all in close proximity.
In my opinion there has rarely been a movie of any quality made that can bring to screen the full flesh and blood of a well-written novel. I thought the producers did an excellent job of portraying the essence of Ms. Rand’s work, while taking minimal but necessary license to bring the setting into modern times (cell phones, computers, etc.). (Work on the novel was started around 1945 and it was published in 1957.)
The basic storyline of Part I the movie is about two corporate dynamos (Dagny in railroads and Hank in steel making) attempting to run their businesses successfully in the face of economic decay and excessive government interference. If the story sounds applicable to today’s situations, remember the book was published in 1957 and its’ applicability to today is exactly why there has been a huge resurgence in interest in the novel. Ayn Rand noted once that she was not trying to foresee the future through the novel, but prevent it from happening. It seems to many of us today that she was unable to prevent it.
While Dagny and Hank forge ahead through countless obstacles, other captains of industry are confronted by a shadowy stranger and the captains subsequently cease doing business and disappear. The mysterious catch phrase used throughout the movie (as in the novel) is “Who is John Galt?”, seemingly a shrug of it’s own alluding to “who knows” or “what’s the use”. The plot thickens. We MUST see Parts II and III.
As a reader of the novel I thought the parts of Dagny and Hank were well cast and well acted. The growing love interest between them has been superbly portrayed in the movie. I thought Dagny’s adversarial brother James Taggart should have been coarser. We’ll see if he lives up to his deterioration in the subsequent Parts. As a friend noted, Francisco d’Anconia was not cast as expected. I would have thought, being the perfectionist he is in the book, that he would have been more clean-cut and sharp, rather than the scruff-bearded type he is in the movie. Hank’s shrewish wife Lillian is perfectly cast. All these are minor, nit-picking opinions. The movie as a whole is well done.
I thought the cinematography was excellent. A lot of shots are in Colorado. (The first run on the new rail line is in June or July, boldly shot in late September autumn colors!! Minor faux pas.)
I’m curious to find opinions of movie viewers who have NOT read Atlas Shrugged. Could they follow the story? Was it sufficiently cohesive? Was it self-contained enough, for just the first third of the proposed trilogy?
I was intellectually and emotionally moved by the film. I was entertained too. I plan to see it again soon. I recommend it.
Atlas Shrugged movie: Faithful, outstanding (Excellent review, IMO.)
Go See Atlas Shrugged the Movie! (website of the next Ann Coulter?)