DVD Review: I Saw the Light
By John Corrado
★★ (out of 4)
Giving the biopic treatment to one of country music’s legends, I Saw the Light recounts the life and career of prolific singer-songwriter Hank Williams (Tom Hiddleston), touching on his rocky first marriage to Audrey Williams (Elizabeth Olsen), the tenacity that he held to get his music heard, and the reliance on alcohol and pain killers that ultimately destroyed his body and relationships and led to his tragic premature death.
Tom Hiddleston delivers a fine performance as Hank Williams, offering nicely understated work in the way he embodies the singer, including some vocally impressive covers of his most famous songs. But aside from him, I Saw the Light is just never as compelling as it could or should have been.
The musical numbers are solid, but the film itself is a bit of a slog and can feel dramatically inert, offering a condensed overview of the country singer’s failed relationships and all too brief career that never really connects, either narratively or emotionally, the way that it should. The film can’t help but feel like a missed opportunity, especially considering the dedication that Tom Hiddleston brings to the leading role.
The DVD also includes commentary with director Marc Abraham, as well as two featurettes.
I Saw the Light is a Sony Pictures Classics release. It’s 124 minutes and rated PG.