So far, Atlas Shrugged Part 1 will open in two movie theaters in Connecticut on April 15, it’s official release date.
Fairfield Cinemas at Bullard Square, 41 Blackrock Turnpike and in Plainville at AMC Loews.
For a movie based on a revered book that graces many an MBA’s desk, it’s been getting decent reviews indicating co-writer and co-producer John Aglialoro has stuck to Ayn Rand’s plot and honored the spirit of the novel.
Not an easy thing to do with this book in particular, which has a complex cast of characters operating in a world where Communism, socialism and capitalism are all vying for dominance.
To understand the book, however, you should remember Rand was born in Russia and her family lost its business to the communists after the revolution. After earning a degree in her native country, she came to the America of the Roaring 20s and stayed becoming a successful writer who defended elitism and competence as well as capitalism after watching the Great Depression and World War II unfold.
(It’s still hard to fathom why being elite in this country has become a bad thing.)
Her two most famous works of fiction were The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.
Atlas Shrugged is the more complex of the two books, and, in typical Russian novelist tradition, tends to go on-and-on-and-on in parts. There is an exceptionally long passage on a train ride. I know it’s supposed to convey the importance of opening a new line and serve as a symbolic passage on the nature of creation and conflict, but man. That aside, the work itself is unequaled in its portrayal of the battle between talent and social organizations bent on hammering all people into equal rolls.
The main characters are a second generation railroad heiress, an engineer who builds a static engine that runs on air, and an industrialist who by himself creates a new allow of metal that is stronger than steel.
Despite the serious nature, there is some humor in this story. Particularly when you learn the genesis of the phrase “Who is John Galt?” That’s a question that people ask when something goes wrong that shouldn’t.
The actual premis is clever and funny as well. It’s Rand’s vision of what would happen if the creative and competent people in society went on strike.
While the book’s heroes are businessmen and women, Rand also casts businessmen who don’t create things and use government to glomb on to the success and genius of others as villains as well as government officials who try to create a forced equality of people, instead of allowing equality of opportunity.
It will be interesting to see if director Paul Johansson, (who by the way is John Galt, according to IMBD) and the production can manage to make this point rather than just dumming the book down to the premis of “Businessman good. Government bad.”
For more information on the movie, visit http://www.AtlasShruggedPart1.com.