P. J. O’Rourke published a sometimes-scathing review of Atlas Shrugged in the Wall Street Journal titled “Atlas shrugged. And so did I.”
The movie version of Ayn Rand’s novel treats its source material with such formal, reverent ceremoniousness that the uninitiated will feel they’ve wandered without a guide into the midst of the elaborate and interminable rituals of some obscure exotic tribe.
And he wonders why director Paul Johansson “doesn’t knock it off with the incantations, sacraments and recitations of liturgy and cut to the human sacrifice.”
Mr. O’Rourke’s comments allow me to ponder if he could have misunderstood Ayn Rand’s theme of Atlas Shrugged: The men of the mind go on strike against collectivism.
He states that today’s “political collectivists are no longer much interested in taking things away from the wealthy and creative,” that the “rich walk on water,” and it is the common laborer “whose prospects and opportunities are stolen.”
The rest of his comments comparing the movie to the TV show Dallas, regarding Ms. Rand as a simplistic philosopher, and on the film’s ability to bring past inventions into the context of the future — I will leave for you to ponder.
Whether you like or dismiss Mr. O’Rourke’s review of Atlas Shrugged one thing is for certain: the movie is getting a lot of press.