The Atlas Shrugged site has an excellent essay from Essays on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged by Jeff Britting posted on line: Adapting Atlas Shrugged to Film.
Shame the Atlas movie script writes did not consult Mr. Britting who has produced an excellent adaption of Anthem as a play.
Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute discusses the Atlas Shrugged movie and the message of the novel. Notable comments: “Basically sticks to the story of the book…I went into the movie with low expectations…a lot of the movie is mediocre…characterization is not really fleshed out…complexity of Rearden character is missing…” and “When many of us read the book it changed our lives…it changed the way we thought about the world. I don’t believe anyone will walk into this movie… and walk out of it … and say my life has been changed.”
The Objective Standard (TOS) reviews Part 1 of the Atlas Shrugged Movie Adaption.
The review praises the acting of Taylor Schilling (Dagny) and Grant Bowler (Rearden) for executing their parts near perfectly, while pointing out that:
…Each plot point is there, as is much of Rand’s dialogue sans most of the overt expressions of her philosophic viewpoint, which first-time director Paul Johansson does his best to illustrate instead through the actions of the characters and the events of the plot. For the most part, the script stays true to the novel while updating it in ways that do not blunt the power of Rand’s theme—no small feat.
The review summarizes that “Atlas Shrugged: Part I is not the novel and it does not pretend to be,” but that:
…It is a fairly competently made, credible adaptation of one of the most complex novels ever written. Even with its flaws, the film is enjoyable and has wonderful moments, including some in which it captures the power of the novel—such as the party during which Dagny gets the Rearden Metal bracelet, the scene during which Hank hands over his ore mine to Paul Larkin, and the already mentioned scene during which Dagny and Hank discover the motor. Fans of Ayn Rand’s masterpiece likely will enjoy these scenes in particular and appreciate the movie generally. Those unfamiliar with the story will probably enjoy the movie as well and may find their curiosity sufficiently piqued to read the book. If so, they will be even more richly rewarded. All in all, Atlas Shrugged: Part I will be a satisfactory journey for many viewers and could help increase awareness of Rand’s work.
Read the full review here.
Perhaps the best thing about the Atlas Movie adaption is that it brings attention to Ayn Rand’s
Writes Timothy Farmer a The Film Stage in his [Review] Atlas Shrugged: Part I on whose dialogue he judges as “incomprehensible gibberish.”
[…] I haven’t a clue in hell what was rolling through John Aglialoro‘s and Brian Patrick O’Toole’s craniums when they wrote the screenplay. Somebody please have them admitted for a CAT scan ASAP.Meeting the script mediocrity head-on is production designer John Mott and his vacant style. Many scenes in the film are either too cluttered or severely lacking character. The book is extremely visual, essentially spelling out what needs to be purchased by the art department. Unfortunately, it seems Mott as if relied solely on Cliff Notes.
[…] There is absolutely no chemistry between the characters, not even a single metabolic drop. Blame it on not enough coverage, rehearsal, etc. The list is long. That said, the actors themselves are terrific, but still unable to escape lazy set-ups and sloppy subplots […]
This is not good news. Thankfully, there are some redeeming qualities to the movie…
On a more upbeat note, Schilling’s Dagny Taggart is stunning, circumventing her wooden lines with pitch-perfect delivery. The way she composes herself while interacting with fellow cast mates radiates a tired screen, most especially those scenes she shares with Bowler as Henry Rearden. Edi Gathegi playing Eddie Willers and Jsu Garcia, who portrayed Fransisco D’Anconia, did well with their minor roles.
[…] It was neither compelling nor entertaining to watch. I was hyped on the thought that the book was finally being transformed after forty years into a film, yet had my doubts. My doubts won. […]. C-
Read the full review here.
The movie reviews for the Atlas Shrugged adaption have been making headlines. Perhaps the most interesting one comes from a reader commenting on a sort-of-review at Slate. (In the Slate review that best that we can learn is that “The actors and scenes are there to present Rand’s philosophy to the Twilight and Nicholas Sparks set.”) At the end of the review a reader named “Sean D’Aconnia” opines:
“[…]It is not all the glorious things that David Kelley or Barbara Branden claim it to be. In fact, it’s almost a beautiful mess but doesn’t quite reach that level because it’s not beautiful really, although there are some scenes that could have been. You can almost taste it at times. But that’s because I know the novel.
The friend who invited me to the screening commented to me that “Atlas Shrugged Part 1″ is ‘not as bad as we think it is.’ Unfortunately, it is.”
[..] While I enjoyed the actor playing “Hank Rearden”, the direction was just not up to a standard befitting a movie version of Atlas Shrugged, and changes to the story were not handled well. […] In fact, it was not lack of budget that
ruined this film – it was lack of talent and vision.
From The Daily Caller:
[…] John Aglialoro, the producer of the movie adaptation of the classic Ayn Rand novel “Atlas Shrugged,” hinted that part three of the movie trilogy might be made as a musical.
“But you know, part three could be a musical . . . like a Les Miserables kind of a musical,” said Aglialoro. “That’s part of the impact and I guess I haven’t said this publicly yet, but I’m looking at it completely different if part three is a musical with quality music that’s done in a certain way that people will like.”
[…] Aglialoro, who held the movie rights and toiled over adapting the novel to film for 18 years, told TheDC he wants to shock audiences with the final installment: “I mean, if you saw the play Les Miserables without the music, and then with the music, you may go in there saying, ‘oh hell, I would never want to see that great book in a musical.’ That’s going to shock a lot of people to see part 3 be a musical, and part 2 may be very different from part 3 and very different from part 1. It has to be new, you know . . . We get a freshness, a vitality about it, and yet it has the same, rock-solid principles and philosophies that we all know and love.”
Clueless. If the AS movie bombs Mr. Aglialoro will be the reason for it.