Atlas Shrugged Part 1 [Import]
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Ayn Rands timeless novel of courage and self-sacrifice comes to life for a new millennium. The year is 2016, and America is on the verge of economic disaster. The greatest citizens are being targeted, and dark forces are working to bring about Americas final days. Our only hope for salvation lies with Dagny Taggart and Henry Rearden, rugged individualists whose bold ideas may have the power to spark a revolution and reclaim the American Dream.
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This movie covers the first third of the novel and does an acceptable job of condensing lots of material into a short amount of time. The cinematography is excellent and the acting is good. Please be aware that this is not meant to be a frivolous movie with shallow characters and meaningless dialogue. The main characters love to work hard and create. They respect other people that are productive and passionate about what they do. They don't waste a lot of time with small talk and empty pleasantries. This may cause some viewers to feel that the conversations in this movie are flat because we have been trained as movie-viewers to expect one-liners, sarcasm, and a lot of idle chit-chat.
Overall, I really like how they portrayed the main character Dagny Taggart. She is driven and results-oriented but not masculine or overly aggressive. She is actually quite soft-spoken and calm in demeanor. She treats others with respect and although she clearly has self-respect and self-confidence she is not arrogant. What a contrast with how Hollywood portrays other executives (especially female executives) such as in the "Devil Wears Prada", "The Proposal", "Wall Street", etc.
Atlas Shrugged is about the importance of individual liberty and how increasing governmental intrusion into our lives restricts our personal freedoms and decreases the overall prosperity of a nation. Taxes and regulations are obstacles to innovation and entrepreneurship--they take all the fun out of creating new businesses and are the cause of many business failures. (How many great ideas have died because of bureaucratical red tape?Read more ›
And they did a marvelous job, allowing for having to considerably compress the chronology of the story and to work around a major chunk of Rand's book being expository. Part 1 covers from the beginning to the igniting of "Wyatt's Torch", and does take some artistic liberties with the story-line ... in particular, it's not till much later in the book that the nature of the strike, and the fact that John Galt is a real character, are revealed.
My only gripe is with casting ... Matthew Marsden as James Taggart seemed horribly miscast. In the book he's, IIRC, a fair bit older than sister Dagny and a fairly strong, if relatively unprincipled, industry exec. In the film he comes across as not only acting wimpy and whiny, but even looks younger than Dagny. I understand that the *entire* cast was replaced for Part 2, due out later this year, and it'll be interesting to see how that changes things.
The maiden trip of the super-train, the first to run on Rearden Metal rails (and over an impressive-looking bridge of the same material) was one of the high points of the book, and is paid proper homage in the cinematography, as at least one other reviewer had noted.
Regardless of your socio-polico-economic leanings, this is a great film.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
I've read the book a couple of times and totally love it - still, and will read it again at some point. Read morePublished on July 27 2013 by Kathleen G. Taylor
Not as good as the book, but my wife and I enjoyed it. I would also recommend it to others.Published on June 5 2013 by Heath
A sharp lesson on how Government destroys anything in its path on a march towards socialism. Well acted and very clear why it was shunned by Hollywood. Read morePublished on April 5 2013 by peterj
Only a crazy Ayn Rand fan would probably order this. Acting was just OK but I will probably order Part II because the book is my all time favourite. Read it 3 times! Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2013 by Charlene Morneau
A good start to the trilogy. I'm really looking forward to parts two and three. Who is John Galt ?Published on Dec 13 2012 by Terry Campbell
I thought the Part 1 of the movie to be very good.The only problem was with the comentary on the pictujre freezes.
The movie itself played ok.
This movie was way better than expected! Production, script, performances, all very well done. I was expecting a "made for TV" style move, filled with not so thinly veiled... Read morePublished on Nov. 26 2012 by Demonsthenes