Tesla – A Brilliant Film to Watch

nikola tesla

Brilliant movie! Excellent visuals! Great learning of historical accounts!

I know that this film would not receive accolades but would face strong criticism. Obviously, the film reveals more of investors, failing accounts, banks, financial disruptions, and less of science. It is better than Radioactive. The film has great philosophical dialogues and a very strong script.

This is the third time Ethan Hawke and writer/director Michael Almereyda have worked together. The other two are Hamlet (2000) and Cymbeline. Ethan Hawke does a fairly good job in portraying the cynical Tesla.

Notable Points in the Movie

  • Kyle MacLachlan plays a wonderful role of Thomas Edison, the big rival of Tesla, who believed the Alternating Current is risky and will not do any good to mankind.
  • Anne Morgan, the daughter of was the daughter of the most powerful financier in America’s history, J.P. Morgan (played by Eve Hewson) comes with a laptop and starts explaining this is how it happened and then says that it was not that it happened. This is wonderful !! It gives the movie a wonderful front and flashback.
  • At one point Tesla says: “…The more we learn, the more ignorant we become in the absolute sense. It’s through enlightenment that we are made aware of our limitations.”
  • Sarah Bernhardt (played by Rebecca Dayan) does wonderful acting. Sarah was a French stage actress who starred in some of the most popular French plays.
  • Indiana native Jim Gaffigan plays the elegant role of George Westinghouse. George Westinghouse Jr. (October 6, 1846 – March 12, 1914) was an American entrepreneur and engineer based in Pennsylvania who created the railway air brake and was a pioneer of the electrical industry, receiving his first patent at the age of 19.
  • George Westinghouse, recognizing that Tesla’s designs might be just what he needed in his efforts to unseat Edison’s Direct Current, licensed his patents for $60,000 in stocks and cash and royalties based on how much electricity Westinghouse could sell. Ultimately, he won the “War of the Currents,” but at a steep cost in litigation and competition for both Westinghouse and Edison’s General Electric Company.
The film got many wonderful historical accounts, characters which portrayed almost exactly like Anne Morgan, Edison, Westinghouse, and J.P.Morgan.
Tesla Movie (Image Credits: www.imdb.com)
(Image Credits: www.imdb.com)

The signing of the sanctioned amount to Tesla over J.P. Morgan’s printed book is wonderful !!
Note: The execution of William Francis Kemmler, the convict who murdered his own wife was first done by an electric shock which Edison predicted would cause immediate death. But it failed! After the initial shock, the doctors found William to be alive, In the second attempt with a higher volt of electricity, he was executed.

See Also | Godel and Einstein – A Walk Towards Eternity

It indicates Edison’s incapability of predicting the potential damage that an electric current does.

“Tesla” is worth watching for anyone who is fascinated by unconventional approaches to storytelling in the time of Edison.

The film pulls us back to history and instills life within those characters whom we have only read in our books.

The film ends as Anne Morgan concluded

“Tesla dies alone at the Hotel New Yorker on January 7th, 1943. He was 87 years old. Destitute but not forgotten. Over 2,000 people attend his funeral at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

He was always looking ahead, projecting himself into the future. Maybe he promised more than he could deliver, maybe he overreached, or maybe the world that we are living in is a dream that Tesla dreamed first.”

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