The difference between the two types of electrical current AC and DC are not explained in the body of the film and that makes the so called war appear to only be about the different approaches to business of Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse.
Just 140 years ago there were no electric lights. That’s a big deal in the history of the World, but director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon showing how it all played out between the two current types and their supporters presents the story as if it were a dull lecture needed pass a college course. When the battle takes place around the electric chair all we see is the headline in a newspaper and a horse standing and then down in a stall.
We probably all know AC alternating current which was proposed by Westinghouse is what we use mostly for our lighting, appliances and factory functions, so we might say that Westinghouse won the battle, but battery powered cars are becoming popular today and they use DC direct current.
Nikola Tesla who helped Westinghouse is painted as an unknown, but any science museum like Griffith Park has a large Tesla Coil sparking up and down. He is the one who began the development of transformers a critical part of our electrical systems.
As the two Westinghouse and Edison work at one up men ship the Edison Electric Company becomes General Electric and financial control moves away from Edison but Westinghouse keeps its name they both exist today.
The story of the “Current War” doesn’t master the importance of the introduction of electricity to society which changed World for ever. What is amazing what happened in the 1880s and 1890s is nearly avoided in favor of the business and personal battle presented between the two inventors, each who offer much to modern life. It also spends time pointing out that Edison had better PR and was and is remembered more than the others. That probably is because of his work recording sound and the beginnings of motion pictures which are credited to his early work.
How all of that can be as dull as a professor’s lecture is a mystery but director Gomez-Rejon found a way.