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You're going to have to read the book if you really want to know what this film is all about. There is no way to recap the story or the philosophy behind it in the short review. So I will have to assume that you either have read the book or intend to read it.
As with most book adaptations one could build a laundry list of what is missing. I personally was hoping for a period piece. However after viewing this presentation I realize that a period piece would be very clumsy and that they made the right decision by adapting it to a more up to date venue (September 2, 2016.) Then of course you have to choose the actors and that must've been a monumental task.
Bottom line is this is as good as it's going to get. I actually found myself enjoying the film even with the anticipation of some story parts from the book and am looking forward to the next two parts.
If you haven't read the book first though there are a lot of things that have been implied a few things that have been combined or dismissed so you will have to watch carefully to be able to figure out what the story line is and the reasoning behind the action.
If you're not inclined to read books that can help you set up taller at the table (aprox 336 pages) then be sure to look at the DVD extras as they will give you a better insight as to what the producers are trying to portray with the various scenes.
I did not bother to check if my Logik L2HDVD12 was hackable for region 0 - it's not, (the older L2HDVD11 is apparently) so the "authorities" prevent me from playing my copy, that I fully paid for, how very apt - I can hear Ayn Rand saying "So what's changed?"
But being a good citizen, John Galt fashion, I was just about to make a playable copy via Linux when the obvious stuck me - just play it on mplayer (on Linux - I have Mint 14) and use our TV as a monitor (I needed to feed the audio from the headphone jack into our audio amplifier separately) - and it worked OK, of course!
It begins perfectly with modern newsroom-style broadcasts - it might be tonight's news.
And continues as an ordinary film, there is no "obvious" political "angle". My wife, whom I annoyed with my constant book-readings - "...terrific, now just let me read you this!" - watched it all and is now looking forward to part two although I had to prompt her quickly with "brother - bad guy" (Jim) "new person - good guy" (Ellis Wyatt) and "government bad guys" etc... finally she says "But are all these guys being killed?" :)
That is good film making, attracting someone who is not willing to read (or be read to) a half-million word "novel".
Hank is loveable, likewise Dagny and Fransisco is real cute i.e. they are toned-down for film rather than being the Super-Heros of Marvell-Comic-format of the book and this works.
The terrific moment in the book where e.g. Jim is about to "destroy" Dagny until the phone rings about the nationalisation of the mines, is almost lost in the film, likewise the drama of the increase in speed of the final run of the John Galt Line at 100 mph (plus the sentinels at every mile with their assorted firearms). Instead the final run is smooth and uneventful but is still beautiful.
The incidental music is gentle and mercyfully restrained so that we can hear what the actors say (thank goodness) and some good exchanges are included almost word for word (but abridged).
The scenes, although set in the future have lost-era-effect decor with lowish lighting (there is non of the pitch-black nonsense or extreme speed of modern "action" films).
I prefer "unknown" cast rather big-name cast because they are fresh, and fresh is better than "perfection" and it suits the sort of film that could be promoted as "The Film that Governments Don't Want You to See."
The only thing I would change, would be to have Dagny learn to drive a train, as Ayn Rand did originally, so that she had a little more innate "punch" - that's all.Read more ›
very good portray to the book (atlas shrugged by ayn rand )and unlike what i was told by a few people, that the film concentrates too much on dagny and hank reardens relationship, i have to disagree ..its worth reading the book first
I have read the book and just seen the movie on DVD, and I have read and watched a few reviews.
Some people have said that the movie looks cheap. That's absurd. Considering the budget it had, the production values are excellent. It looks like a competently-made, middle-budget theatrical film or a high-budget made-for-tv film. The producer, cinematographer, and director did an excellent job.
As an adaptation of the first third of the novel, "Atlas Shrugged", it is very good. I think anyone who has read the novel could fast-forward to any scene at random and immediately recognise what point of the book it's from; likewise, all the main characters are immediately recognisable the moment you see them on screen - even if a few are played by actors who don't really look like how Ayn Rand described them. That made no difference: the main actors were excellent and well cast, and they embodied the spirit of their characters.
I don't give it five stars for the following reasons. A couple of scenes were not really that well adapted from the book, especially Dagny's discovery of Hugh Akston at his diner. In the movie, the scene was abridged to the point of near-irrelevance. Also, the movie did not really make clear enough, I thought, how the design of the John Galt Line's bridge, from an engineering point of view, was only possible due to Rearden Metal's properties - even though the bridge is indeed accurately portrayed in the film. Still, it would have been easy to make that point more clear by having Rearden draw rough drafts of his bridge when he meets Dagny at the old bridge - a scene that would have underlined Rearden's engineering genius. But that's just my opinion - maybe other people would have found that boring.
I confess that I am a bit skeptical that parts 2 and 3 - if they do get made - will maintain the same quality, especially given the producers' (understandable) decision to set the story in the near future rather in the novel's alternate-reality 1950s. For instance, are the exploits of Ragnar Danneskjold's truly plausible in the 21st century - in the North Atlantic? But, let's see.
Anyone who is familiar with the novel will enjoy "part 1", I'm not sure how easy the plot will be to follow by those who haven't read the book.Read more ›