Sunday, October 25, 2015

I Saw the Light

There's always a cost to fame. For every fortunate person who manages to make themselves a household name, most of them will give in to the many vices that come with fame. Drugs, one-night stands, non-stop partying...fame is a tempting mistress and for some, a deadly one as well.

Marc Abraham's I Saw the Light chronicles the short-lived fame of country music singer Hank Williams. During his six-year rise, Williams recorded forty-one records and became a regular feature at the Grand Old Opry. But his personal life featured the likes of a shaky marriage, infidelity, heavy drinking and popping pills.

Starring as Williams is Tom Hiddleston, who has certainly been on the rise over the last few years. Donning a Southern accent, Hiddleston shows that there's more to his abilities than just the god of mischief. However, the weak nature of the Abraham's script does restrict him considerably. (Though if you're interested in seeing Hiddleston deliver a good performance, he makes up for the script's faults.)

Indeed, every now and again, we get biopics on a variety of prominent famous names. But very rarely do they excel to a high level of greatness. More often than not they rely on the strength of the actor's abilities (and resemblance to the biopic's subject) more than the quality of the script. Sadly, I Saw the Light is one such biopic.

I Saw the Light tries its best to be among the ranks of Walk the Line (a musical biopic with an even balance of the subject's professional and private lives) but ends up in territory similar to The Theory of Everything (a biopic more reliant on the actors' performances than the script's strength). Had there just been a little more effort in the script, it'd probably be good. Alas, it's nothing more than fairly decent. (At least Hiddleston managed to somewhat salvage it.)

My Rating: ****

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