Railroad owner Dagny Taggart and steel mogul Henry Rearden search desperately for the inventor of a revolutionary motor as the U.S. government continues to spread its control over the national economy.
'Ayn Rand & the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged is a feature length documentary film that examines the resurging interest in Ayn Rand's epic and controversial 1957 novel and the validity of its dire prediction for America.
Revealing the surprising life story of one of the world's most influential minds, this unprecedented film weaves together Ayn Rand's own recollections and reflections, providing a new understanding of her inspirations and influences.
The time is the Russian Revolution. The place is a country burdened with fear - the midnight knock at the door, the bread hidden against famine, the haunted eyes of the fleeing, the ... See full summary »
Approaching collapse, the nation's economy is quickly eroding. As crime and fear take over the countryside, the government continues to exert its brutal force against the nation's most productive who are mysteriously vanishing - leaving behind a wake of despair. One man has the answer. One woman stands in his way. Some will stop at nothing to control him. Others will stop at nothing to save him. He swore by his life. They swore to find him. Who is John Galt?Written by
Nearly half a million dollars of the film's budget was raised through the online funding site Kickstarter. This was claimed by many to be ironic, since crowd funding, or charity is in opposition to Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism, but that is incorrect, as Objectivism only opposes "forced" charity. See more »
There's a map of the US in the Taggart Railroad center. In the State of Missouri the cities of Springfield and Jefferson City are reversed in geography. See more »
Even from someone who admittedly enjoyed the first two installments of the Atlas Shrugged trilogy, regarding them as intriguing films centered around a philosophy I had never personally given much thought to and assembled from a whirlwind of troubling circumstances, the cinematic undertaking of Ayn Rand's massive novel have been a mess of sizable proportions. From middling budgets really showing their limitations during the scenes requiring special effects and the overhauling of the entire cast for each film, the franchise has lost a great deal of its continuity. Fans of the novel, who have been churning out in miniscule numbers as evident in the box office draws of each films, really must find themselves doing everything in their power to appreciate the spirit and the ideology of the story over main cinematic draws like acting and continuity.
However, I'm pressed to find a likable quality in Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt?, the concluding chapter of the trilogy. Clearly showing budgetary strain after the massive bomb that was Atlas Shrugged: Part II and featuring, yet again, a whole new parade of actors, the first immediate issue is the title. Even the titles of the series lack in continuity as badly as the cast. The first film was simply Atlas Shrugged: Part I. The second film added "Either-Or" to the title (in some, not all, cases, making it more confusing - some posters say the subtitle while others stop at "Part II"), taking after the book's titles given to the certain parts. Finally, the third film adds the question all the characters in the film ask one another when they've run out of meaningful dialog. Simple numeric titles for the series would've been far cleaner, and even if they took the titles in a different direction, they could've started by naming the first part "Non-Contradiction" and the third "A is A." It's an anomaly of film naming.
But that's the least of our worries with Who is John Galt?. The film picks up where the second part left off, with Dagny Taggart (Laura Regan) now in a dystopian paradise created by the shadowed figure John Galt (played by Kristoffer Polaha). For months on end, Dagny has been researching Galt and his motivations of "stopping the motor of the world," with billionaires, inventors, and technology gurus disappearing left and right from the world, leading an already crumbling America down the tubes at a faster rate. Dagny meets Galt and is smitten with his eloquence and charm, as well as his insight to the world. The film revolves around their brewing relationship together, as well as outlining the process of informing the world of Galt's identity and motivations through the beloved "John Galt speech" that occurs in the novel.
To begin with, what was once a believable and interesting setup of a science-fiction story crossed with ideology and thought-provoking notions has been deluded to a mediocre love-story and a politically-charged soap-opera, with narration actively shaming the other side of the political spectrum and even going as far as referring to unionized workers as "union thugs." Such petty name-calling seemed at least above the first two films, which could've been at least appreciated even by someone who didn't actively follow Rand's gospel or believe her more traditionalist values. This film, however, desecrates its audience neutrality and makes it a purely uninteresting piece of bleeding-heart conservatism looking to exclude, shame, and belittle whenever it gets the opportunity.
Even the central characters, Dagny and John, one of whom interesting for her leadership and her unwillingness to compromise, and John's enigmatic personality from the start, have gone on to be bland caricatures worthy of daytime soap-operas. They walk, talk, and converse with another like shells of humans, and it feels nothing but shortchanging to the audience who have waited this long to see John Galt in action operate with the stiffness of a board.
The sole moment of interest in Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? is the aforementioned John Galt speech, which is truncated from its sixty-plus page significance in the book to roughly five minutes in the film, amazingly covering all the points given the drastically short conversion time. It lays on its ideas thick, but in a way that's equal parts well-written and believably acted when we see how Galt's ideology provokes, intimidates, and encourages a great deal of people. If Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? had been a short film focusing on this scene in this manner, it would've likely merited a positive review from me. If only, right?
Starring: Laura Regan and Kristoffer Polaha. Directed by: J. James Manera.
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