The inventor Nikola Tesla is struggling with his groundbreaking electrical system. He is annoyed by his employer Thomas Edisons desire for money and goes his own way with the discoveries of electricity and light. The film begins in 1880's New York and Teslas European view of life clashes with the rise of American industrialism. He eventually becomes more and more stuck in his own thoughts. In the role of Tesla himself, we see Ethan Hawke.