The Washington politicians in Atlas Shrugged, Part 1 (2011) want a basically socialistic system for the U.S.–and they want greater power than they already have. They lead the nation in adopting the following view: altruism good, big-business bad; but this does nothing to restore a blighted America. The widespread use of passenger trains which I believe to exist in Ayn Rand’s novel exists in this film too, but here, in 2016, the trains are used because no one can afford air travel. The pols are letting the country slip into economic hell, with the worst possible legislation gradually forthcoming. For example, an “equalization” law prohibits people like steelmaker Hank Reardon from owning more than one business.
I’ve seen Atlas once in the theatre and once–and half of it twice–on DVD, and I’m ready to make my pronouncement: it’s a good film. Yes, it’s full of two-dimensional characters and it shovels out more information than your average person can absorb (which is why it should be seen more than once), but it’s also fresh and properly paced and near-cerebral. It’s talky, but not without overt drama. The allegation that the movie is ineptly made is largely false. Even most of the acting is more successful than I originally thought.
Here’s one more thing: Yep, leave it to Congress to come up with a name as banal (and stupid) as “anti-dog-eat-dog law” for a piece of legislation. Hopeless.
Directed by Paul Johansson.
(Photo: Taylor Schilling as Dagney Taggart)