Movie Review: Atlas Shrugged Part 1

Friday the 15th of April has finally come!!!  I woke up, got some breakfast/lunch and made my way tot the one theater in the area that was playing the film.  I give this an overall rating of 7 out of 10.  Call me biased, but I’ve always been a big fan of Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged.  The fact that they’ve FINALLY made a movie out of the book is just incredible.  That being said, it was never going to be a blockbuster movie.  The story and content are way too philosophical to be the Godfather, but the screenwriters should be commended.  The action of the film was steady, though not fast paced, but they managed to take nearly 400 pages of pretty dense material and create a good story with character development, plot movement, and mystery.

The problems that I have always seen with attempting to adapt Atlas Shrugged into a movie are pretty simple.  The characters have a lot of inner dialogue that advances the story and much of the plot points are given to you via newspapers, subtle conversations and small interactions between minor characters.  One way that the screen writers addressed this, in my eyes, was a very important updating of the world to a near future date.  One reviewer described this as a dystopian future and taking from the atmosphere the blatant references to Ayn Rands communist experience in the USSR was a master touch and highly necessary.  It was actually a little disconcerting to watch because the world of the film was 99% our current reality.  The dialogue, as it is in the book, is overly philosophical, but that is the nature of Atlas Shrugged.  It is a story about a philosophy.

The one thing that I was a little disappointed about was the portrayal of Dagny.  Taylor Schilling did a phenomenal job of portraying one of my heroes of literature, but the one part of the character that I didn’t feel was her sexuality.  Dagny’s affair with Reardon left me a little cool.  The progression was meh and the culmination of the affair was expected- overall, not a hot scene and I pictured fireworks in the sexual tension when I read the book.  I did, however, love the way that Ellis Wyatt was portrayed, he was dynamic and interesting and larger than life in a way that the book didn’t convey.

Either way- I am going to be waiting for part 2 with bated breath.  Not only did I enjoy the movie, but I am more sure now than I was yesterday that this is a relevant story in the current world.

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