I shrugged

Just watched “Atlas Shrugged” and I still don’t get the title. Huh? While I won’t go as far as Roger Ebert’s official review, I also found this piece a bit of a big question mark – and not one that really encourages me to find out more. I see that Ayn Rand has another film getting ready to hit the silver screens and now I am much more disinclined to see it.

My initial curiosity about the idea of Government becoming too big, too oppressive and too ridiculous is what drove me to even consider this title. But even if I were to attempt to superimpose a dose of reality unto this concept, I don’t see how “going on strike” and removing the innovators helps anyone. Where is the incentive for those going on strike? If the pursuit of happiness is really the rock-bottom goal of life (which I do not agree with. At all), then how are these people fulfilling their purpose while sucking air?

There are some loose associations with the Christian Rapture, in which God pulls all his people out of the world (ala “Skyline”). If all the “good” people are uploaded (talk about offshore!), then what’s left? This film attempts to ask the same question, and kinda thumbing of the nose, a sticking out of the tongue. The main character, a sister co-CEO of the railway giant, gets it right when she says John Galt just gives up – everyone who joins that group has taken the easy way out. It sounds like a lose-lose situation, and I firmly believe that Ayn Rand’s Objectivism ultimately leads to this conclusion.

Other than the problems with the underlying philosophy, I found that my belief was not suspended at all. James and Dagny not only don’t see eye to eye, but they are somehow able to take thier monolithic company in almost two different directions?!? How do Dagny and Hank Rearden have time to cavort all over America, and how do they travel? They “tested” a new metal on a new track crossing a new bridge breaking a new US train speed record with…. wait for it, a passenger train pulling over 25 cars?!? I’m sorry, but there is just too much that removes itself from me to make this film either entertaining or educational.

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