Review of a review of a film of a book
Movie reviews are rarely a kick, but P.J. O'Rourke's review of "Atlas Shrugged: Part 1" in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal is.
Read the review even if you've never read the book and don't intend to see the film.
The title of the review is classic O'Rourke: "Atlas shrugged. And so did I." You can almost see the disciples of Ayn Rand reaching for their pitchforks.
He writes: "I will not pan 'Atlas Shrugged.' I don’t have the guts. If you associate with Randians — and I do — saying anything critical about Ayn Rand is almost as scary as saying anything critical to Ayn Rand. What’s more, given how protective Randians are of Rand, I’m not sure she’s dead."
He has Randians, who prefer to call themselves objectivists, pegged. But he did have the guts after all, and he did pan it. Gently.
I might interject that I'm actually looking forward to the movie, which Hollywood has threatened to make ever since Rand personally tried to ingratiate herself to Tinseltown. It is needed in a time when people don't read 900-page books (if they ever did) and are therefore unarmed against the collectivist propaganda spilling out of academia into places where its peddlers might actually exert influence, like the White House.
But I'm off track. O'Rourke correctly notes that the current wave of collectivism gave rise to more than just an overdue — but strangely not updated — film about Rand's most famous book: "Hence the Tea Party, and Ayn Rand is invited. Not for nothing is Kentucky Senator Paul named Rand. The premise of 'Atlas Shrugged' applies to every maker in a world of takers."
The tea party wasn't around when this film was conceived, but the movement will swell the movie audiences. It sounds like a film you hope your "progressive" neighbor will go see to get their derailed thinking back on track — even if you don't get around to seeing it yourself.
By the way, a tale that takes 900 pages to tell won't fit in two hours. Or even three. Thus, as O-Rourke put it, "The movie’s title carries the explicit threat of a sequel."
Let's hope P.J. reviews the sequel as well.