November 20 / 16
“You got to have smelt a lot of mule manure before you can sing like a hillbilly.”
What word do I use to describe Hank Williams? A musical genius? A true songwriter? Lost soul? well, you could say all three. I Saw the Light is not just another biopic, but this biopic has failed in many ways than one.
First I will say this, Tom Hiddleston was a great treat to see. An Englishmen playing a country crooner was a surprise. Williams’s grandson Hank III wasn’t too pleased, but who really cares. I wish he could give Hiddleston the credit for the hard work to portray such a legend in country music and what a legend. Not only did the film did touch about William’s as a great performer, but it also touched on his demons. His spinal condition called Spina bifida, caused him lifelong pain, and the fact that this was one of the cause for his abuse of drugs and alcohol didn’t make it any easier. Hiddleston’s work has paid off greatly. It also helped that he did his own singing in the film, that was one of the highlights.
Elizabeth Olsen, who portrayed William’s first wife Audrey, was also a great addition. Audrey wanted to have a career in music as well. Even though she lacked vocal talent, that wasn’t going didn’t stop her. When you see Hiddleston and Olsen together, that’s pure chemistry right there. The relationship between Hank and Audrey had it’s highs and terrible lows, due to his drinking of course.
There is one problem I have with this film. Based on Hank Williams: The Biography by Colin Escott, with George Merritt and William MacEwen, there are some issues.
Marc Abraham, who not only directed, but also written and produced the film failed to bring what the film really needed and that is the heart. When you do a biopic, aren’t you supposed to let audiences know how the person become who he or she was? What truly made Hank the way he was? That’s not the case here. Abraham though that Hank’s humble beginnings didn’t really matter. To be honest, Abraham just cheated not only the audience, but the actors. Hiddleston’s and Olsen’s performances we’re spot on, it just wasn’t enough to save this film.
While I do feel that the film was great, it could’ve been a whole lot better.
I Saw the Light: C
featured images: the independent, moviefone, & hypable