Review of Atlas Shrugged Part I

I had the enjoyment last night of seeing the movie Atlas Shrugged.  It was the first part of three.  I had heard a mix of reviews of the movie, so I didn't have my hopes real high.

I read the book almost 11 years ago and have not read it from start to finish since then.  Like many people, it was a highly influential book for me.  I don't think the book is very realistic.  It paints a world of black and white.  It seems that most of the businessmen are either good or evil and there isn't much in between.  The reality of the world we live in is that there are smart and productive businessmen who aren't necessarily strong advocates of liberty.  Also, while businessmen and entrepreneurs are vital to our economy, we should not forget that the middle class is just as important and the middle class are often better advocates of liberty.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie.  It is hard to do the book justice, but considering the time and money limits of the film, I thought it was reasonably well done.  The actress who played Dagny Taggart was just how I imagined she would be when reading the book.

Unlike the book, the movie takes place in the year 2016.  They mention headlines such as the Dow Jones being below 4,000.  Railroad use for travel and shipping is popular once again.  Other than the time period, the movie seemed to stay close to the script of the book.  It is hard to say, but for someone seeing the movie without having read the book, it seems that there is less of a mystery, although you still don't know where all of the productive people are disappearing to.

For anyone who has not read the book or seen the movie, I really would recommend reading the book first if that is possible for you.  I am not a big fan of Ayn Rand's writing style, but the story itself is incredible once you get into it.  Of course, people who are not sympathetic to liberty will not enjoy it, unless it happens to convert them.  The book is over 1,000 pages long and it is not an easy read, but it is certainly worth it if you can find the time.

I am not sure whether Ayn Rand would have been happy with the movie or not.  Regardless, it does draw attention to the book and that is a good thing.  I am not an Objectivist and I have my disagreements with Ayn Rand and her followers.  But she is an important part of the libertarian movement and Atlas Shrugged is one of the best libertarian books ever written.  If you have already read the book, watch the movie when you have an opportunity.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.