Wednesday, December 23, 2020


Tesla is a lesser version of The Current War, which itself was far from a great film. Narrated by Anne Morgan (Eve Hewson) in the present (despite the fact she died in 1952), Tesla covers the career of inventor Nikola Tesla (Ethan Hawke).

Writer/director Michael Almereyda makes some odd choices here, both in a narrator using an Internet that was developed decades after her death and in some pretty cheap greenscreen techniques the culminate in a bizarre music video that closes out the film. While some of these make the film memorable, they don't do much for the quality of the final product. Nor does the plot's choice to largely skip over important events of Tesla's life. Those with even a cursory knowledge of Tesla won't find much here, and the film's meager budget doesn't offer the opportunity to showcase the scale of his inventions and aspirations.

Hawke is hit-and-miss in the title role and Kyle MacLachlan is entirely forgettable as Thomas Edison (who it waffles on as a villain). If the film has any real star, it's Hewson whose absence is felt in any scene in which she is not featured.

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