Ethan Hawke stews with big ideas stifled in Tesla


The name comes up often in our day when people talk about high-tech cars that I am quite sure will remain forever out of my financial grasp.

It also echoes when the ideas that make these sorts of machines possible are discussed thoroughly enough that the man who first had them bouncing around his brain must be mentioned.

And I would be remiss not to bring up the fact that, yes, a band named after Nicholas Tesla thundered in my workplace consciousness decades ago.

So I was glad enough to pluck the Blu-Ray <em>Tesla</em> starring Ethan Hawke from the DVD shelves in my workplace library.

Directed and written by Michael Almereyda, this 2020 biopic tells the rather sad story of the American inventor dedicated to his electric ideas that he was forever convinced would lift not only his country, but the world, to better ways of living and communicating.

Hawke makes for a a rather convincing brilliant yet tortured soul, a man whose work demands the belief — and financial stakes — of too many others to really get to the peaks he knows full well then can.

Tesla runs in high circles. Kyle MacLachan plays an arch Thomas Edison, smart, smug and determined at every step to prove his ideas and ways were better than anything Tesla was pushing forth. Eve Hewson makes for a forever interesting confidante as Anne Morgan, daughter of money man J.P., who backs Tesla with dollars but doesn’t quite fully listen to what the man of science is really pitching. Rebecca Dayan sets spells as big-time touring actress of the day Sarah Bernhardt, a woman who thinks she can take Tesla’s mind momentarily from his life’s work.

Oh, what an interesting time this was.

Let there be plenty of light. (From

And in this version of it, we are left to know that the roads this man plowed led to some plentiful fields for us forevermore, even though he never got to appreciate his harvest.

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