Wednesday, April 9, 2008
So excuse me if I'm wayyyy behind the times here, but I was just reading some stuff about Ayn Rand's phenomenal Atlas Shrugged when I came across...THE RUMOR. I'd like to think it's a leftover April Fool's joke, but apparently not. No, Hollywood is all set to make Rand's masterpiece into a piece of cinema (assuming cinema is French for "feces") and the two leads are to be played by...Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Excuse me, Hollywood? Shouldn't you be busying yourselves elsewhere with telling us why Castro is actually a saint rather than a monster, or writing George Clooney's next self-absorbed smugfest Oscar speech ("America didn't even know there WERE black people, until we in Hollywood set them straight!")?
But no, you choose instead to take one of the most brilliant novels of the last century and cast it the same way you did with Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I read a blurb on the IMDB where the film's plot was referred to in this way: "a powerful railroad executive, Dagny Taggart, struggles to keep her business alive while society is crumbling around her." Huh? That's like referring to Of Mice and Men as "slow guy pets rabbit."
I don't know how to break this to you, oh great Hollywood elite, but Atlas Shrugged is primarily about objectivism and rugged individualism and the notion that FOLKS HAVE THE RIGHT TO KEEP WHAT THEY EARN. Have any of you actually read the book? I'm guessing not, since the idea of self-determination rather than government control is anathema to most of you. You use your award nights to grouse about funding to the National Endowment for the Arts. Do you have any idea where Ayn Rand would've told you to stick your NEA?
I can't say I'm surprised, though. The last time Hollywood attempted anything Rand-related was the atrocious cable sleazefest The Passion of Ayn Rand, in which they turned the life of one of the most important writer/philosophers of our time into something that should've starred Shannon Tweed rather than Helen Mirren. It was a shoddy attempt to cast negative light on Rand's beliefs through some seedy sex drama. Blech.
And now they want to tear down Atlas Shrugged in a similar manner. "A powerful railroad executive, Dagny Taggart, struggles to keep her business alive while society is crumbling around her"? It's not a corporate drama, you mallet-heads. The reason society is crumbling in the novel is because the folks who keep it running (i.e. the folks who actually get off their asses and produce things) have decided they're fed up with being overtaxed and underappreciated. And you pinkboys seem to want to turn it into another John Grisham whine-fest. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.
Maybe after this flick is made, the director can take a cue from Howard Roark, protagonist of another Rand novel, The Fountainhead, and blow the crap out of every print of the film.