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Typical movie criticism is not relevant to this film about ideas. See it to stimulate discussion.
on April 28, 2015
Atlas Shrugged Part 2
We have a new director and an entirely new cast with part two of the Atlas Shrugged saga. Director John Putch has 48 mostly TV credits on his sheet. The new cast, like the old cast, are all solid pros if not famous pros. Of the three writers both Duke Sandefun and Duncan Scott are new to the series. Only Brian Patrick O'Toole had a hand in writing the first episode. That, and the inherent difficulty with the plodding pace of the original Ayn Rand novel present problems for any film makers.
But the movie as a movie isn't really the point. The object is to expose the public to the ideas of Ayn Rand. Rand thought that people should be free to live and crate without a bossy government getting its nose in a person's business. That's pretty hard to argue against as a philosophy. We understand the distinction between tyranny and freedom, we are Americans. We grew up with the idea of “Give me Liberty or Give me Death”.
In the middle part of the series, the government tightens its grip on the lives and fortunes of the people, and not to their benefit. Rand depicts the government as grasping for power for the sake of power. Frequent shots of the people at large show increasing poverty and desperation. The policies of the grasping rulers only accelerate the ills of the economy. The government believes that the fruits of one man's labor should be reaped by those who know best how to devour said fruits, the governors themselves. For Rand, this is little short of slavery and she wants no part of it. It also does not work very well in real life, as we can see from examples of other nations currently, Greece for one.
This film like its companions is best thought of as a stimulus for conversation. How much of my life’s blood is the government entitled to take from me, if any? If creative, driven, people are the spark plug of society, shouldn't we try to foster their creativity rather than stifle and thwart it?
If we look at the society we now inhabit, we can easily see the problems that Ayn Rand brought forward in her thinking. What to do?