Sunday, April 17, 2011
Atlas Shrugged review. Strange as it may seem, small town Central Florida (well pop. of about 100k) got it. And the theater was about half full.
Terrible confession that I know puts me at the bottom of the libertarian pecking order. I've never read the book. Been meaning to, and all, but I've never been much on fiction, and I don't think much of her writing, at least what I've been exposed to. In high school, I had to read The Fountainhead, and I found her writing (searching for a word) painful. Tedious. Ponderous. Most of my reading tends to non-fiction, things like what you see on that list over there on the right...
All that out of the way, I enjoyed the movie. The movie is dated 2016, and the headlines and actions of the politicians seemed completely believable. It's a sign of the times we're in that an openly socialistic/crony-capitalistic government that passes laws to reward some companies or states and punish others is a faithful depiction of life and not the extreme fiction it was when Atlas was written. None of the government actions struck me as going too far. I thought Grant Bowler, as Henry Rearden, and Taylor Schilling, as Dagny Taggart, both put in compelling performances. Certainly, Taggart, Reardon, and Ellis Wyatt were the most developed characters and the characters who made the most sense. (Ellis Wyatt, by the way, was played by Graham Beckel, conservative brother of regular liberal commentator Bob Beckel). Extra style points for a minor character in the movie: Dr. Potter, the government wonk that offers to buy out Rearden Metal from Hank Rearden, getting him to sell out rather than excel. The mousey Dr. Potter is played by Armin Shimerman, best known as "Quark" in Star Trek Deep Space Nine - minus the Ferengi ears.
I don't know enough about the book to know what's coming, but I hope they continue to get part II out next year and part III out the following year. All planned for tax day.
We hesitated about going because of what we've read online. Don't know if you've noticed it, but the liberal Rand-haters hate the movie (as expected) and the die-hard Rand-fans are bad-mouthing the movie, too, for failing to live up to their expectations.
Go see it. Maybe a few times.