The New York Times reviewed the first two (of three) Atlas Shrugged movies. Ayn Rand’s 1,300-page novel, Atlas Shrugged, was published in 1957 and is still a best-seller.
It was an abysmal review, but it was lazy. Granted, Part I and Part II of the Atlas Shrugged trilogy had not been received well, but they were certainly received by more than the “faithful” that the author refers to in her article in the New York Times on October 14th. Her review is well-written, but it took several cheap shots at the actors and the content. That didn’t bother me as much as her intellectual laziness.
Her criticism of the dialogue and the plot are indicative of someone who has shallow, second-hand knowledge of Ayn Rand, her writing, and her philosophy. The dialogue in Ayn Rand’s novel does the job, but it’s not dynamic and real. That’s just the way it is. Unfortunately, adapting Atlas Shrugged to the big screen forces the producers to choose between rigorous adherence to the original text and engaging dialogue. The plot is fantastic and there is a lot to do in that area that appeals to broad audience. I think that both the first and the second part of the Atlas Shrugged movie did a good job with that.
The creators of Atlas Shrugged, the movie, chose to be true to Ayn Rand’s novel. I think the New York Times reviewer unfairly criticized the movie before she understood what the creators were doing.
Do you think the New York Times was fair and balanced in its review? More importantly, what did you think of the movies?