The Current War just debuted to pretty negative reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival, but on a conceptual level the historical drama is interesting enough to be worth a look and, hey, there’s a trailer already so here we are.
Hark to the tale of inventor and businessman Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch), who went toe to toe with George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) for dominance of the fledgling electricity industry back in the day. Edison won, by the way, but that’s not a spoiler: that’s history.
Also in the mix: Serbian genius Nikola Tesla, here played by Nicholas Hoult, whose largely unrecognised gifts make him a poster boy for a lot of people who like to think they have unrecognised gifts. It’s cute the way they hold him back for a last minute reveal. Later in life Tesla fell in love with a pigeon and died in poverty, by the way.
The War of Currents is an absolutely fascinating chunk of history and the aftereffects thereof are still being felt today, so why the bad reviews? Perhaps the guiding hand of director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, who gave us the risible Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, has something to do with it. Still, curiosity may get us into a cinema if and when The Current War gets an Australian release date.