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Critics ‘Shrugged’ at Ayn Rand

After 40 years of attempted development by multiple directors, newbie director Paul Johansson shot the film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s egoist manifesto “Atlas Shrugged” in a mere five weeks.

After 40 years of attempted development by multiple directors, newbie director Paul Johansson shot the film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s egoist manifesto “Atlas Shrugged” in a mere five weeks.

The movie takes place five years in the future in a dystopian America plagued by calls for collectivism. As businessmen and politicians make everyone literally share the wealth, the protagonists try to save a capitalistic society from collapse.

Fans can rest assured knowing that the film is faithful to the novel’s characters and storyline. However, the obvious shoestring budget and mediocre acting take all the luster out of Rand’s masterpiece. The lack of publicity, harsh reviews and limited release of an already controversial adaptation leave the question of whether Johansson will be able to get enough funds to continue on for the next two parts.

Regardless of the film’s quality, Don Watkins, analyst at the Ayn Rand Institute for Individual Rights, says it will provide publicity for a classic novel.

“People are going to have all sorts of reactions to it,” he says, “and part of what I would want to say is judge for yourself. If you really like the movie, it’s going to be so much better in the book. ... The book is so much better, so much more challenging and unconventional.”

 
 
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