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Three brilliant visionaries set off in a charged battle for the future in The Current War, the epic story of the cutthroat competition that literally lit up the modern world. Benedict Cumberbatch is Thomas Edison, the celebrity inventor on the verge of bringing electricity to Manhattan with his radical new DC technology. On the eve of triumph, his plans are upended by charismatic businessman George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon), who believes he and his partner, the upstart genius Nikolai Tesla (Nicholas Hoult), have a superior idea for how to rapidly electrify America: with AC current. As Edison and Westinghouse grapple for who will power the nation, they spark one of the first and greatest corporate feuds in American history, establishing for future Titans of Industry the need to break all the rules. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) with Producer Timur Bekmambetov, Basil Iwanyk and Executive Producer Martin Scorsese, The Current War also stars ...
Thought the casting on Cumberbatch's behalf was odd as he doesn't resemble nor act as you would suspect Edison to act (on the uncharacteristic side). Others in the cast seemed right. I've read where people argued the story-line of the movie vs. actual, and I've done a lot of reading on Edison and Tesla and actually found it very close.. plus the AC vs. DC rivalry with Westinghouse (including electrocution) to be VERY accurate. The story doesn't have a lot of "wow" to it (like a fictitious story would), but considering it based on real-life, it felt right. Oddly, the focus seemed to be heavy on Edison, yet the aspect of the story with Edison/Westinghouse truly MAKING AC work (and the person truly on the "shaft end of the stick") was Tesla!! The characterization of Tesla really left a massive untold story of pure genius receiving the most unfair treatment (though touched upon). YES.. Edison DID tell him he'd pay him a huge amount if he could figure out the problem.. and YES.. Edison did say "he was joking" (as in real life). It mentions Edison's venture into film, but if the film makers wanted to tell a more interesting story about Edison, it might be about his film work and competition with the Lumière brothers (the two brothers who actually were the real leaders of motion pictures. There are horror stories of Edison hiring hit men to show up where people were filming with Lumière film equipment to beat them up and destroy the equipment. Edison is portrayed a bit of a victim in this movie, but it seems that he really was anything BUT that. It seems that whoever wrote the screen play or story didn't know enough about Tesla to really portray him as the real victim he was, nor recognize Edison's very underhanded way of sometimes doing things. The film points out (justifiably) that often people credited with inventions are really just the person getting the last development in (not truly the original inventor). I'd LOVE to see Scorsese do a complete story focused on Tesla. THAT'S the REAL story here!
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