7/10 The history of the making of this film (originally premiering at film festivals in 2017) is almost as fascinating as the true story that this film depicts. Without going into too much detail, Harvey Weinstein and director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon fought over the final cut of the film. After Weinstein’s fall from grace and a “Martin Scorsese clause” that Gomez-Rejon could luckily fall back on, he was able to re-edit the film to his liking and that is this film in its…current…release. I am glad to see the director’s original vision for his film come to life and he has crafted a well-made film worth seeing. The story of Edison, Westinghouse and Tesla is a fascinating one and one that I knew the basics about but this film educates you in a way that you will know so much more by the time the ending credits roll (the invention of the electric chair in particular was a very fascinating discovery for me). Gomez-Rejon’s last film, “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” was my pick for the 7th best film of 2015 when it was released. Although this film isn’t as strong or moving as that film, his directorial style and sensibilities have remained and grown even stronger. A scene that parallels the Chicago World’s Fair and the first time use of the electric chair was brilliantly directed and edited. The editing and use of light in regards to the cinematography is outstanding and you can tell a lot of time and effort was put into how it turned out in its final form. The acting across the board is great with Benedict Cumberbatch portraying another genius figure who lacked social skills and was essentially a jerk (i.e.- Steve Jobs). Michael Shannon, usually typecast as the villain gives a nuanced turn as Westinghouse and Nicholas Hoult makes every second of his screen time count as the remarkable yet tragic Nikola Tesla. The slim running time also makes the film shoot across like a lightning bolt, slowing down only for necessary emotional moments and character development. There are a few complaints I had with this film, however. The female characters (essentially Edison and Westinghouse’s wives) are slightly underdeveloped. One of these women being underdeveloped is slightly understandable due to the amount of her screen time but it lessens the emotional impact once she is no longer in the film. Edison’s kids have a role earlier on in the film but as the film progresses they fall by the wayside. Finally, this film takes place over at least 12 years and the talented but very young looking Tom Holland doesn’t appear to age a day in those 12+ years, which was distracting and very unrealistic. Flaws aside, is you are a fan of history and enjoy well made and acted films with great scores, cinematography and pacing, this film is worth checking out. It may not be perfect but it is a small shock to the Hollywood system that we could use right now.
#LightClub / #MusicByACDC / #LikeAHoultOutOfTheBlue / #CircuitBreaker2ElectricBoogaloo / #HowTheWestinghouseWasWon / #MeAndFightAndTheDyingLight