Movie Review: I Saw the Light (2015)

Starring: Tom Hiddlestone, Elizabeth Olsen and Maddie Hasson

Directed by: Marc Abraham

The story of one of the great country-western singers in history. Hank Williams lived a short but full life as he became a megastar musician while battling his personal demons.

I’ll be honest and admit that I’m not really a country-western fan and while being aware of Hank Williams, I’m not very familiar with the majority of his work. I watched I Saw the Light for one reason, to watch Tom Hiddlestone in a role that I haven’t seen him in before. Apart from playing Loki in the Thor and Avenger movies, I’ve only seen Hiddlestone perform in Kong: Skull Island and I wanted to see what else he has to offer. As Loki he is brilliant and one of my favourite MCU characters that have featured over the last few years and that’s down to Tom Hiddlestone’s performances.

I Saw the Light follows the life of Hank Williams, a legendary country-western singer that took the music world by storm. He was only a recording artist for a short 6 years before his untimely death but within those 6 years he had a remarkable 36 hit songs. Along his journey to becoming such a huge success he battled relationship problems and drug and alcohol addictions as well as suffering from spina bifida occulta. He lost his life at the early age of 29 and this movie shows the life of Hank Williams during his 6 year recording career.

The best thing this movie has going for it is Tom Hiddlestone. His performance was wonderful to watch and as a British actor to be able to nail Hank’s accent as well as he was able to deserves a lot of credit. His singing was also great and the pain that Hank Williams suffered throughout his career is shown both in Hiddlestone’s voice and face. Hank Williams battled a lot of demons in his life and it was evident in this portrayal that he was a tortured soul who was unable to keep on top of his addictions. The story was full of factual information that allowed people who aren’t overly familiar with the life of Hank Williams, like myself, to learn about his career and his rise to the top although I felt certain parts of his life were somewhat glossed over and bypassed.

At times I felt the story moved at quite a slow lethargic pace and the run time of a little over 2 hours felt a lot longer because of it. Elizabeth Olsen plays Hank’s first wife Audrey Sheppard and she’s extremely irritating to watch and comes across almost impossible to like as she seemed completely unwilling to work on their crumbling marriage. Whether that’s how she was meant to be portrayed or not I’m not sure but the character really grated on me and took away from my enjoyment of the movie.

Overall, this was a mildly enjoyable biopic which seemed to drag quite a bit at times. Tom Hiddlestone’s performance really drags this movie up as he was superb to watch but not many others were able to perform on his level.


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