I've read the book a couple times. Good story. Love the theme. Memorable lines. Powerful scenes that stick with you after you've set the book down.
So they've FINALLY made a movie out of it:
[YouTube direct link]
The main worry I see in the comments at the various places I've seen the video posted is that they've "rewritten the story".
I would hope so. This isn't a book, people. It's a movie. It's a visual medium, which puts VERY different constraints on how a story can and should be told.
There's also complaints that "it looks low budget". So? This story isn't about the scenery. It's about character and dialogue, and how these combine to move the plot and present the theme. How much do you think it cost to make "Validation"?
All I'm really hoping for with this movie is that it will quote generously from the memorable lines and transition relatively smoothly between the pivotal scenes. I also hope the heroic characters project an air of confidence and deliver their dialogue in a blunt, unapologetic fashion.
I don't know the actor who plays Rearden, but I think he gets it. Freeze it at 0:39. The look on his face as he stares at his factory. It's love, it's pride, it's reverence. That's as it should be.
And that smile he gives his weaselly brother at 0:56 - perfect.
I'm not sure about Dagny, she doesn't seem quite severe enough, and I really don't think her character would have perfectly-plucked eyebrows. But she is thin and angular, which is right for the character.
I've heard complaints about Eddie Willers being played by a black man. Snide comments about "affirmative action casting". Whatever. He appears clean, professional, and competent. That's Eddie in a nutshell. I didn't picture him as black when I read the book, but there's absolutely no reason why he couldn't be.
Physically, the various politicians & bureaucrats look either doughy, sleazy, or corrupt. Well-casted.
Finally, there's comments about the "high-speed train" in the movie, and comparisons to Obama's high-speed rail fantasies. But let's remember the three big differences between Taggart's train & Obama's:
1) It's privately owned
2) It's profitable
3) It's hauling freight, not passengers
It's hard to make an accurate prediction from a 2 minute trailer, but I think I'll be happy with the movie, although I'm sure I'll be sad that some of my favorite parts will have to be omitted due to time and the fact that some good parts of a book, if rendered faithfully, would wreck a predominantly visual experience like a motion picture.
Out of necessity they'll have to pare this down to the main story, which revolves around Hank, Francisco, Dagny, and John. Consider anything we get outside these 4 as pure gravy. Sorry, folks, but Ragnar is optional.
PS Having it open on April 15th... brilliant.
Life gets in the way
6 months ago