I Saw the Light

It only struck me afterwards that the title of this film is only one strange choice. I know it’s one of Hank Williams’ more famous songs, but there was no seeing of any light during the film. It’s all a bit of a downward spiral, with very little redemption. If they needed a song title, I’d have gone with Cheatin’ Heart.

The other, and perhaps even stranger, choice was the casting of Tom Hiddleston in the title role. He did a decent enough job, and should be commended for his musical performances. But all the time, I was aware that I was watching Hiddleston playing Hank, which took me out of the story completely. Despite the dates appearing regularly on screen, I couldn’t really keep track of the passage of time, so that when we got to the end and I realised that only 6 years had passed, and Williams was 29 by the end of the film, I was perplexed. Hiddleston is actually 35, and for me, did look too old for the part.

I don’t think Hank Williams was an easy person to be around, and a number of excuses are made for why this might have been the case. But they were alluded to so fleetingly that I wasn’t sure whether to take them seriously or not. Hiddleston usually does a good line in underlying menace, but I saw none of this.

It was all a bit bland, which Hank Williams was not.

 

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