The Current War


The Current War is a 2017 dramatized representation of the battle between Alternating current and Direct current in the nineteenth century. Focusing on the likes of Thomas Edison, (Benedict Cumberbatch), George Westinghouse (Micheal Shannon), and Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult). I enjoyed this film as a piece of cinema, if you enjoy films for their technique then this is a great film. However, the average audience member may find this film pretty boring with its uninspired premise.

The film focuses on a topic that is not extremely interesting. This film proves it is hard to make the battle over electricity worth watching for almost two hours. The pacing throughout the film is very slow. It drags on more than it should have and simply doesn’t go anywhere. I think the topic doesn’t really grab you and is hard to get excited about, especially for young people.

From a cinematography perspective, the film is beautiful to watch, especially when utilizing light. The use of window light, the light from candles, or light bulbs stands out as the most interesting aspect of the film’s look. I also liked the costumes and overall set design that helped set the tone and time period of the film.

The main reason I liked this film was the actors and the talent they bring to the project. Actors like Benedict Cumberbatch, Micheal Shannon, Tom Holland, and Katherine Waterson bring the film to the next level. They make the film worth watching and interesting to watch when they’re on-screen. They know how to play with their roles and bring them to life in a different way. Especially side characters such as Tom Holland’s character Samuel Insull and Katherine Waterson’s role of Marguerite Erskine become the center of the scene and bring something special to the table.

What I find the most interesting about this film isn’t the film itself, but its weird release. The film was produced by Harvey Weinstein under the Weinstein Company and was slotted for a 2017 release. The film premiered at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017, yet wasn’t released for another two years. This was due to the infamous Weinstein sexual abuse scandal which led to the bankruptcy of the company, handing the rights to another studio.

Overall, this film is a good movie if you enjoy looking at films from an analytical view. If you are already familiar with or interested in the feud between Edison and Westinghouse you may find this more interesting than others. If you are looking for a film to watch for strictly enjoyment/entertainment purposes this may not be the right film. I enjoyed the film but I felt like it was missing a well-developed story which kept me from being completely engaged and on the edge of my seat. Since the film is based on a true story I can understand that they did not have the most dramatic ideas to pull from, but that’s where artistic integrity comes in, otherwise why make it into a movie at all.


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