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REVIEW: I Saw the Light

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Review by Dustin Heller

I Saw the Light is the new biographical film about the life of country music legend Hank Williams.  The film is based on the book Hank Williams: The Biography and was written, directed, and produced by Marc Abraham whose only other film was 2008’s Flash of Genius.  Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen (Loki and Scarlet Witch for the Marvel fans out there) star in the film as Hank and his first wife, Audrey Williams.  I Saw the Light is Rated R for some language and brief sexuality/nudity.

The film begins on the wedding night of Hank and Audrey as both are aspiring musicians trying to make it in the world of music.   Hank dreams of playing the Grand Ole Opry, whereas Audrey just wants to sing and be respected.  With success comes heartache as Hank and Audrey’s relationship struggles with his newfound success and her lack thereof.  We see the ups and downs in Hank’s life with his rise to fame and his eventual death at the young age of 29.  Even with with such a short life, Hank Williams is one of the most influential and popular country music artists of all time.

Despite a remarkable performance by Tom Hiddleston, I Saw the Light was nothing more than a boring biopic that probably should have never been made.  Whether Hank Williams’ life was extraordinary or not, this film just didn’t work on any level and was extremely dull.

I wouldn’t say that I knew all that much about Hank Williams going into the film, and after seeing it I still don’t feel like I know his full story.  Hiddleston and Olsen are really good and make the most out of what they have to work with, but even they couldn’t overcome the boring script.  I’m sure any old school country music fan will want to check out I Saw the Light; I just don’t feel that it will live up to their expectations.

Grade:  C-

I Saw the Light opens in theaters on Friday, April 1