Edison - The Man Who Enlightened the World is a 2017 film by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. The film was released in Italy on July 18, 2019, with a guilty delay of two years compared to its presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival. Unfortunately, the film was not successful overseas, despite being a feast for the eyes both for the photograph and for the actors who performed there.

Synopsis of the film

Towards the end of the nineteenth century Edison invented a light bulb capable of staying on for thirteen hours, a historical invention destined to change the world. Thus, an economic rivalry between two companies comes on: that of Edison that uses direct current and that of Westinghouse that uses alternating current. Despite the danger of the alternate, the reduction of costs and the best performances inexorably push Westinghouse into a dominant position on the market. Edison will have to invent them all, coming to play dirty, before the genius of Nikola Tesla manages to close the game.

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The battle for control of the future

The protagonists of what, without a doubt, was a war in all respects, fought for control of the future. Within a few years it became clear that the sun that controlling the transition from gas to electricity would allow for an influx of infinite money. As is also said in the film, energy is a need just like eating and drinking for the human being. The film manages to perfectly capture a moment of great change, in the United States and then in the world, due precisely to the discovery of this new and incredible possibility.

Pride versus profit

One of the fundamental themes of the film is the pride, which flows many times into arrogance, by Thomas Edison. The genius, undoubtedly one of the brightest minds of the nineteenth century, has lost many opportunities to gain monopoly in the battle for energy. In his desire to be recognized as the one and only inventor, he refused excellent opportunities to obtain greatness. Furthermore, if he had managed to transform many of his ideas into products, probably all the major inventions of the century would bear his name today.

Technical aspect

Visually we find ourselves in front of a film that can take your breath away. Taking advantage of night skies, the light of the sun bulbs and a first-rate photograph, the production was able to give incredible moments. Whether the film likes it or not, there is no doubt that photography is one of the biggest positive aspects of the film. 

The rhythm of the scenes is well built and manages to give the impression of a real war, with victories and defeats on both sides.


Great actors were called for the film, all of whom gave excellent results on the screen. Cumberbatch was naturally able to steal the show, thanks to an excellent acting talent, but Tom Holland, Michael Shannon and Nicholas Hoult also stood out very positively. A note of particular merit goes to Katherine Waterston, who after abandoning the role of Auror was able to interpret those of a strong and determined wife, albeit tremendously in love with her husband and his greatness.