Tom Hiddleston seems to be everyone’s favourite contender to be cast as the next James Bond at the minute. Whilst he may have made a strong case for himself in TV drama ‘The Night Manager’ I doubt his latest film role of country singer, Hank Williams, will help his attempts. I knew very little about Williams before seeing ‘I Saw The Light’ but this didn’t put me off as I enjoy watching biopics as they often can teach you a lot whilst also being entertaining.
Tom Hiddleston is an actor who I certainly think is talented, I’ve enjoyed his portrayals of Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and I thought he performed well in last years ‘Crimson Peak’. I’m not overly fond of him in general though, I think my view of him is very dependent on how much I enjoy the film he is starring in. Earlier in the year Hiddleston starred in ‘High Rise’ which I wasn’t a fan of, nothing to do with Hiddleston’s performance just not my kind of film. So previously Hiddleston hasn’t really been pivotal to my enjoyment of the films he stars in. However, here in ‘I Saw The Light’ he really does play a large role, the lead one in fact, in making the viewer like or dislike the film. Thankfully he puts in a great turn as Hank Williams. I can’t vouch for his likeness to the real life figure but I was sold on his appearance and sound which really grounded the film. His singing was pretty good too and once again I can’t comment too heavily on the level of similarity to the original music but I was convinced and enjoyed his musical contributions. Starring alongside Hiddleston was another of his buddies from the MCU, Elizabeth Olsen, who most will know for playing Scarlett Witch. Personally I haven’t seen Olsen in too many films and when she has featured she’s never stood out as being overly impressive. My opinion is much different here though as she holds her own against Hiddleston and is convincing in her character who has a lot to do and is the main source of drama for the film.
As I’ve commented already I enjoyed Hiddleston’s musical contributions to the film and as a result I liked the musical moments that were included. I surprised myself by actually knowing some of Williams songs without realising that they were his. I do wish that some of these moments had been give a little more room to breathe though, I’d have preferred some to go on a tad longer and have the confidence to hold the audience rather than quickly moving onto the next element of the narrative. What the audience get is good though, just some more of it would have been appreciated, or maybe country songs are just shorter than songs of other genres? The narrative is quite a general one, it encompasses many aspects of Williams life however some elements were rushed which meant that there maybe wasn’t a specific focus to the film. Although I’m not sure that this can be too much of a criticism as there isn’t always just one focus to an individuals life, and that is showcased here. I think the film as a whole is a success though as it’s informative and entertaining and was a really good insight for someone, like me, who knew next to nothing about Hank Williams.
So with great lead performances from Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen, ‘I Saw The Light’ is an interesting biopic which informs it’s audiences about the music and mayhem of Hank Williams life. At times certain aspects can feel a little rushed but these don’t affect the overall film too much. If only some more musical moments had been added and the already present ones extended a little further this could have been a great biopic. In its current state I’d have to say it only ever goes as far as being good.
Rating – 7.5/10
Question: What is your favourite biopic focusing on a musician?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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