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The Current War

The Current War

Jan. 05, 2018USA105 Min.No Rated
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The Current War 123 Full Movie Plot & Release Dates.

This title has a pun which is probably too weirdly pedantic even to count as groanworthy: an immediate, contemporary war being fought on the issue of electrical current. Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, who has worked in TV and as second-unit to film-makers like Alejandro G Iñárritu, before making the 2015 feature Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, has now re-imagined the late 19th-century battle between electricity pioneers Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to establish their own dominant electrical system. A comparable movie could yet be made about the battle between Beta and VHS.

In the 1880s, Thomas Edison astonishes the world by illuminating a section of Manhattan at night using his new-fangled electrical light – and Westinghouse, whose business had until that moment been based on gas, resolves to challenge him with a different system. Edison favoured direct current and Westinghouse alternative current, and it was a titanic war of personalities and ideas, which incidentally involved a gruesome minor battle, which this film tactfully passes over: Edison tried to get the rival AC approach identified (and stigmatised) in the public mind with the death penalty and the electric chair, whose frazzling executions were macabre and often bungled.

At any rate, Gomez-Rejon’s film is not about that; it is high-minded and poised and interestingly it does not offer the obvious notion that Edison and Westinghouse were as different as chalk and cheese. Rather the reverse: their contest was all the more dramatic because they actually had a good deal in common, for all that Edison was the more unconventional of the two. It is more like a strategic confrontation between rival generals or statesmen. Westinghouse is shown hoping for a compromise, in which they might yet divvy up America’s energy market between them, being responsible for production and distribution. But Edison is not receptive to this approach.

The Current War
Original title The Current War
IMDb Rating 6.1 521 votes
TMDb Rating 4.5 15 votes
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Director

Cast

Michael Shannon isGeorge Westinghouse
George Westinghouse
Nicholas Hoult isNikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla
Katherine Waterston isMarguerite Westinghouse
Marguerite Westinghouse
Tom Holland isSamuel Insull
Samuel Insull
Damien Molony isBourke Cockran
Bourke Cockran
Conor MacNeill isWilliam Kemmler
William Kemmler
Celyn Jones isSherman Quincy
Sherman Quincy

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