Edison & Westinghouse

The Current War

The Current War is a 2017 American historical drama film inspired by the 19th century competition between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse over which electric power delivery system would be used in the United States.

Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and written by Michael Mitnick, the film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Edison, Michael Shannon as Westinghouse, and Nicholas Hoult as Nikola Tesla.

A rather by-the numbers film of this historical drama. In the first half, it meanders a bit before the narrative focuses on the rivalry in the second half. Westinghouse comes off as a more sympathetic character. Why Cumberbatch was used (apart from name recognition) is not clear. He does seem to be a generic American.

It’s Shannon’s portrayal of Westinghouse that is better and he has a clear character path.