As I've written here before, I'm a movie fanatic on a long, self-imposed exile from the cinema. The quality of the experience when I quit going to see those first runs on the big screen had gotten to be too little gained for too much spent. I've purchased hundreds of DVDs in the time between, but stuck to my boycott without regret. But just now, the film we've all waited for longer than my lifetime has come into existence. And I'm here to report on whether it was worth breaking the strike.
I fetched up Freckles and her first-born yesterday, and we all went to the picture show. We rode an hour and a half, and had to dodge some Interstate highway gum-ups, incorporated a stop at Bass Pro (since I was to be right there at it, there was a fish net needed getting), had a fine meal, and settled in to see Atlas Shrugged.
I'll try to spoil as little as possible, but can say I was satisfied with how the movie-makers adapted a 54-year-old story to show to a 2011 audience. And I think I'll see it at least once more before giving a full-fledged review. There were elements that I immediately felt could have been a fraction better (a bit of the dialog seems hurriedly delivered, a little subtlety would do wonders), and I'd like to have seen an hour's worth of enhanced character development (not that everyone else would, of course). But by and large, it was an excellent first installment of the 3-part series.
My two accomplices had not read the book, but were anxious for Part II. And judging from the lively discussion we had on the long ride home, they caught on well to Mrs. Rand's themes, drawing parallel after parallel with their modern world. And when it's all said and done, it is not for ourselves, those of us who've read Atlas, that we hope this film appeals, but that it does so to those who don't yet know the whole story and its importance.
If you only know Ayn Rand rhetorically, or if you read Anthem and/or The Fountainhead (or saw that movie) and couldn't make yourself endure the magnum opus, or if you tried to read Atlas and gave up for whatever reason, you should see the film. Those of us who did enjoy the book and have yearned for the movie, were given a treat, and should certainly consider seeing it a couple times. An 8PM screening, and no younguns kicking my seatback, and no other distractions. All-in-all, a very enjoyable movie-going experience. Can't wait for Part II.
It is worth noting that 1 week ago, there wasn't a theatre listed to be showing Atlas anywhere in North Carolina. That's changed due in large part to fans demanding that it be shown. Go here to find your nearest screen, or to demand that it be shown in your area. It was worth it to me to drive that far, and it's certainly worth your speaking up to get it shown.
Again, it's not just for you.