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"The Current War" is sort of nice. Cannoli Send a noteboard - 07/11/2019 05:23:02 AM

I thought from the title that "current" referred to contemporaneous, and was about the War on Terror or some other topical issue. But it's actually referring to the technological struggle between George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison to promulgate their respective methods of electrical power, Alternating Current vs Continuous, or Direct, Current, respectively. And unless you've been living under a rock all your life, you know who wins. It looked from the previews like "Tucker" or some similar movie, where the guy who is right gets crushed by more powerful forces and we're left to wonder what the world would look like if he had won. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Edison and Michael Shannon plays Westinghouse, and that would generally seem to support that guess, but Westinghouse comes across as the good guy, while Edison is something of a villain protagonist. Cumberbatch can play a temperamental and egotistical genius in his sleep by this point, but while Shannon is usually the heavy, who represents repressive forces or embodies the disapproval of society run amok, both are much more human and sympathetic individuals than one would expect. Westinghouse is basically a decent guy who just wants to spread electrical power through the nation while making a buck doing so, but is stymied to a degree by the early technical difficulties of making AC practical, as well as the fame of Edison and his adherence to DC creating resistance in the minds of the general public. Westinghouse has genial relations with his subordinates and wife (Katherine Waterson from the Fantastic Beasts movies), and strong scruples against mudslinging or fighting back against dirty tricks or ad hominem attacks, while Edison is a devoted, if usually distracted, family man, who forgoes opportunities for easy profits and fame with his adamant refusal to design or invent weapons, a topic over which he repeatedly clashes with his financier, JP Morgan. Tom Holland plays a guy who is sort of the engineering business equivalent of a consigliere to Edison, and Tuppence Middleton (who played the least useful main character on "Sense8" ) is his wife. That creepy urchin who ran with the Commies in "Les Miserables" plays his son Dash as a young child. Nicholas Hoult, from the last Mad Max and the McAvoy/Fassbender X-men, is Nikola Tesla, who was something of a wild car in the "War".

The movie isn't as dramatic as it wants to be, and doesn't really manage to convey the sense that the country could have been running on DC all this time if the conflict had played out different, but it's a nice human interest kind of thing.

“Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.” GK Chesteron
Inde muagdhe Aes Sedai misain ye!
Deus Vult!
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"The Current War" is sort of nice. - 07/11/2019 05:23:02 AM 120 Views

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