Saturday, April 16, 2011

Atlas Shrugged Part 1

Atlas-Shrugged-Movie-Poster Opening night at Atlas Shrugged was great. We went to Lincoln Square in Bellevue Washington. We got there early and it’s a good thing because the house was packed. I wore my Atlas shrugged tee shirt and a chain bracelet, though it wasn’t like the modern bracelet designed in the movie.

My friend and I have read the book . I’ve read it three times now.  Our husbands hadn’t. So they had an interesting take. They could follow the story well and liked it a lot. I liked it, because I’m a fan, but missed a lot of things from the book. (For example, a said ‘It left out their entire childhood’ and my husband got thins look of horror in his eyes and said ‘Thank goodness!’) So their you go. The adaptation made this book accessible to a lot of people, and I’m sure many will go on to read the it.

The movie avoids the  atheist aspects of objectivism, and greatly downplays the sometimes violent sexuality that is hinted at, though not described in detail, in the book. Occasional conversations had to contain information that is set up over several chapters in the book, so occasionally the dialog seemed a bit unnatural.

Most the things I didn’t like were changes made for no reason as far as adapting the novel to film. Some of these are…..

Hank Rearden found the motor, instead of Dagny finding it when they were visiting the factory together.

The bracelet scene. Lillian's disgust for the bracelet was evident, but she wasn’t making fun of it too here friends at the party like we read in the novel. She said she would trade with anyone but there were no takers. The Dagny confronts her and trades the bracelet for her diamonds. That is one of my favorite scenes in the book, and in the movie it seemed to be just a hint that Dagny liked Rearden, not her appreciation for the intelligence, work, and prosperity Rearden Metal represented.

Fransisco just wasn’t cool enough. He looked sloppy. My husband thought he was perhaps some kind of anti-Che type character, which in a sense is right, but in Atlas shrugged he is tall and lean, and the chubby faced sloppy look is reserved for the looters and the moochers.

And over all I would have preferred a 1940’3 period piece.

What I loved…..

Dagny was great. I wish she would have been brunette like in the book, but she was still great. Rearden and Jim were also very well cast.

If you have to adapt it to present day, they did a great job explaining why the trains were still relevant.

The government, the regulations, and the crooked businessmen who are dealing with politicians rather than relying on the quality of their products are portrayed so well.  So is each blow to Rearden as he tries so hard to be successful and is crushed at every turn by each new government bill. It made my heart ache with frustration.

Rearden’s family and Dagny’s brother Jim were just great in their awfulness. What a slimy bunch!

That last scene. Oh-it was great. It really captured the sense of frustration and futility Dagny was feeling.

So there’s my review. Soon my daughters will be home from college and I’d like to take them to see it too. I’m so glad this movie was finally made. I loved the applause at the end of the show.

When does part two come out????