I Saw The Light: Film Review


I was keen to see I Saw the Light because I love Tom Hiddleston and was excited to see him in a new, musical role, and to learn more about the country music legend Hank Williams, who I know very little about. It’s just a shame this biopic is boring and failed to remotely captivate me.

The film begins in the 1940s, just before Hank’s career takes off thanks to the Grand Ole Opry, with him getting married to Audrey (Elizabeth Olsen) in a gas station. What then follows is a tale about his career highs and lows, his drink and drug addictions and marital problems leading up to his untimely death in 1953, aged 29.

I am a sucker for a biopic and I just love soaking up information about an extraordinary life and I get very emotionally involved but this simply wasn’t the case here. Something just didn’t work, I was bored and I didn’t care about Hank’s story at all – which is strange because it’s pretty crazy.

I know you don’t have to like a character to connect with a story but he had no redeeming qualities. He is so mean to Audrey, treats everybody poorly and throws away his career due to his addiction and emotional problems – he doesn’t keep commitments and he just lets everyone else down. It doesn’t help that we never fully understood what motivated his addiction, how/why it started and we didn’t get an insight to who he was a fully-rounded person. The biopic was just little glimpses of moments in his life that didn’t adequately build a clear picture.

Like I said, I know very little about Hank so I can’t really comment on Hiddleston’s singing and his appearance, but I felt like someone else could have done a better job. He had a good stab at it and his accent and singing are great but I wasn’t so convinced by the addiction scenes or where he’s an asshole. Olsen on the other hand was fantastic. I’m a big fan of hers too and she didn’t disappoint. Some of their marriage struggle scenes verged on the melodramatic but seeing the emotion in her eyes helped keep it grounded.

This didn’t affect me at all, which is so odd because biopics tend to get me the most emotionally. Something was just wrong, I didn’t learn much about Hank besides the surface level story everybody already knew and I felt sorry for Audrey and disdain for Hank. This is unsuccessful in getting under Hank’s skin and balancing stories about his marriage, career and addiction. It’s such a shame that the cast were wasted on this dull and messy biopic.

In cinemas Friday 6th May 

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