15th Sep2016

I Saw the Light (DVD)

by timbaros


‘I Saw the Light,’ a film about the life of country music legend Hank Williams, was released earlier this year to mostly negative reviews.

What could’ve been a promising, and perhaps an award-wining film, with Tom Hiddleston playing Williams, arrived dead on arrival. It’s perhaps the lack of energy and excitement that’s missing from a film about a rowdy, wild, womanizing, chain smoking, alcoholic singer who died at the very young age of 29 in 1953. It also could be Hiddleston’s less than lackluster performance in a role that should’ve actually gone to an American actor who could sing with a real southern twang, for this is what Williams was best known for.

The film charts the rise, and rise, of Williams’s music career coupled with his relationship with his first wife Audrey (Elizabeth Olsen). It’s a turbulent one, not helped by Williams constant drinking, womanizing, and the effect his meteoric rise to fame had on his health and personal life. It was fame that was well-deserved but, as we’re shown in the film, he couldn’t really handle. Hiddleston doesn’t quite fit the part – he’s way too clean cut and looks as healthy as ever from the beginning to the end of the film. But we don’t really feel his joy and excitement of singing for the first time at country music’s holy grail the Grand Ole Opry – we really don’t feel much of anything for him – but we do, however, feel the love he has for Audrey, that is until their relationship is over and he falls for one beauty after another. Perhaps Marc Abraham was the wrong choice to write and direct this film. His one other writing and directing credit was 2008’s ‘Flash of Genius’ (never heard of it? Neither have I), so for him to be given the reins of creating a music biopic on one of country’s living legends was perhaps not the best choice. ‘I Saw the Light’ could’ve been another ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’ classic but instead it’s an unfocused film that never really comes close to capturing its subjects popularity and appeal more than 50 years after his death. And at 123 minutes, it’s just plain too long.
The film doesn’t do much for Hiddleston’s career, and neither did his two-minute relationship with Taylor Swift.

‘I Saw the Light’ is now available digitally and on DVD