While perusing new releases on Netflix a week or so ago, I noticed that there was a release of Atlas Shrugged. I was completely surprised because I never heard of it being released in the theatres, etc. etc. The only thing I heard was that there was the possibility of a movie, and that Angelina Jolie was up for Dagny Taggert. At any rate, this discovery was quite exciting and I immediately placed it at the top of my queue.
The film’s entire cast are considered “unknowns” and the film itself was extremely low budget. Which explains why I knew nothing about it… I did recognize one character from Friends (Ross and Monica’s mother) and another from Mad Men. While the DVD was loading, I did a little review reading and was intrigued by how supportive folks were of the film, despite its low budget style and unknown credits. I think that people were so desperate to see it on screen that any form would have pleased them.
You may guess at this point that I was not impressed with the film. However, the story speaks so strongly that even mediocre acting and embarrassing visual effects cannot squelch its power. And maybe that is what those posting reviews also saw. Watching the film brought back the story — and the story is solid.
The things that really stood out as bad include the portrayal of John Gault — it is hokey at best. Dagny is not quite right with an imbalance between the sexy portrayal and the plain, rigid businesswoman with too much on the “sexy” side. I didn’t picture her as glamourous as the character in this film. Also, Hank Rearden was sleazy — I envisioned a Jon Hamm-like character with a natural charisma. Not an actor with a fake tan and hair with too much product in it.
Now, this was just Part 1 — so maybe they will have more money for Parts 2 and 3 and mysteriously eradicate some subpar actors. But, I will admit, I was captivated the entire time. Atlas Shrugged is a captivating story and it was enjoyable to remember the details of the story that I had forgotten. So, if you have read the book and are dying to see a film version, go ahead and see this one. You will be disappointed, but overall it will be a good experience.