Saturday, February 12, 2011

Atlas Shrugged, the movie

Ok. I'm going to try not to freak out and go into a tangent here, but: I've been lenient.

Lord of the Rings was visually epic. Although they missed a lot of plot lines/details and the Hobbit has yet to be truly honored as the companion masterpiece that it is, it worked out pretty well as a movie triology. So I allowed that.

Harry Potter has been somewhat redeemed, because they finally admitted that an 800 page book can't be made into a decent movie unless it's 5 hours or longer. But the last couple of movies couldn't be fully comprehended unless you'd already read the books, and I would much prefer that they stood on their own as unique artistic creations in their own right, not just a half-explained summary to make money.

The Beach - I'll admit I saw the movie first. However, after reading the book I saw that it was decently represented as a movie, and although similar in many ways, the movie did achieve being a stand alone work of art.

Into the Wild - There were definite weaknesses in the adaptation but they made it an enjoyable journey. Christopher McCandless's character wasn't developed as much as I would have liked in the movie and I didn't have as much empathy towards his adventure as I did in the book. However, they followed the path of the book well enough and it was a complete movie.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - The newest remake disappointed me, although I appreciated their attempt to hone in on the deeply quirky elements of the book. The original movie, however, not only stood in its own right, but I wouldn't even be hurt if people didn't read the book and saw the original movie in this instance.

There's a lot more. I'm looking at a list of over 100 different movies that have been adapted from books, and I won't go through all of the ones I have read/seen. I'm getting to my point now.

I do not approve of making a move out of Atlas Shrugged.

I do not approve of one movie, let alone a trilogy.

To begin. The book flows and expands and must being taken in one large breath. I am not pleased with breaking it into three sections (regardless of the fact that the book is sectioned similarly) and having to wait a year, year and a half, to continue the story.

Second - I do not want to see anyone as John Galt. 

Third - I do not want to see anyone as John Galt.

Fourth - I do not want to see anyone as John Galt. 

In fact, all of her characters are beautiful archetypes that I am averse to seeing characterized by popular actors of today. It feels a little like pointing to a chair and insisting that it is a great representation of Plato's ideal Form of a chair. A bit irrational, no?

There are a lot of movies made from books with deep philosophical undertones - Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now is one that comes to mind.

I don't care.

I'm a fan of capitalism, but not to the overwhelming degree that Ayn Rand is. Her vantage point was with rebellion in her heart, against the horribly oppressive Communist government in Russia. Atlas Shrugged is an aggravated stand against that oppression and an idolizing of the alternative option. Her characters are unyielding and unreasonable. But it's a damn good book.

There is no way her Objectivist philosophy, which is the entire foundation and purpose behind her elaborate fiction about a society that folds in on itself and relies on the strength of the enlightened few to rise from the ashes, will be properly represented in a movie.

I'm open to being proven wrong. But I am also allowing my skepticism to run rampant in this particular instance. They released the trailer for the movie yesterday. And I've mentioned it, so I'm being civil. But I won't post it on here.

If nothing else, please just do me one favor - if you are going to see the movie - PLEASE read the book first.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to comment, discuss, challenge, or expand on anything I have written. In fact, I encourage it.