I’m not going to review the film. That’s been done and done and done.
And it’s true, the movie is just ok. The characters are one dimensional. The script is overly didactic. The cinematography made-for-TVish.
Instead I’m going to share my reaction to the film, my emotional reaction: frankly, it depressed me. Not because of my disappointment in the film’s quality, or because of the film’s all-too-real dystopian setting.
No, it depressed me because, unlike most movies wherein one must rely on the suspension of disbelief to accept the hero’s actions, this movie portrays heroes acting in ways many of us could achieve. It depressed me because I haven’t started a successful business; therefore, I haven’t benefited society as much as maybe I could have. It depressed me because I haven’t honored or appreciated as I should those entrepreneurs who have.
The bottomline message of Atlas Shrugged part 1 is that if you want to help the poor, start a business; create wealth; create jobs. If you haven’t done this, it might depress you; but don’t assuage your depression by supporting government redistribution schemes. Do it by encouraging and supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners–and thank them for their service just as you do those men and women in our armed forces. They deserve it.