DVD Review – I Saw The Light (2016)

I saw The Light is a 2016 American Drama documenting the career of one he worlds biggest folk singers Hank Williams. Starring Tom Hiddleston and Elisabeth Olsen. Released on DVD on August 29th 2016 from Sony Home Entertainment.

I saw The Light is a heart breaking story of the American Folk singer Hank Williams following him from his rise to fame, his struggles, his personal break downs and his tragic end.

I will be honest going into this I had not heard much of Hank Williams, giving that he was around in the 40’s and 50’s that is not surprising, but I still loved this film. His music is still loved and respected today and goes to show what timeless music folk and country music is.

I am actually a country music fan, well a pop country music fan. In terms of Taylor Swift, Lady Antibellum. However I can respect where the genre began.

I have always really enjoyed these types of films. This one is about struggling musicians and their rise and falls. It is more powerful when it is following the life of a real person, who still has an impact on the genre today.

I am just going to jump right to the case. I was very guilty of this as well, This film just reminded me of Walk The Line (2005) Which is one of my favourite films, even though I am not the biggest Johnny Cash fan, although I can appreciate his music. Sadly that is, I Think, where this film is going to suffer. Undoubtedly this film will get compared to Walk The line, just for the reason a long that Walk The Line is so well loved by millions. As I said I myself was guilty of this.

However I can say that I did really enjoy this film. However not as much as Walk The Line. I am going to try as best I can all all costs not to compare the two films because that would just be unfair. Considering that there from two different studios.

I saw The Light is such a great film, especially if you are a folk music fan and you grew up listening to Hank Williams. As I Said I knew really nothing about him going in and there it comes my first negative.

I would have liked to have seen more of Hank’s childhood. I think that would have helped explain a lot, although his mother is in the film and was a supporting character, it still wasn’t enough and I felt that the film would have benefited from having even a couple of minutes at the start or in flash back giving some detail.

Now like I said I did really enjoy the film and think it’s a wonderful documentary drama. But sadly there are some more negatives. I do think that Elisabeth Olsen was very Reese Witherspoon in the film, which put me off a little. I got used to it but it was just something I noticed. I think another strong negative was the length of the film. I didn’t think the film had to go on that long, considering the content. As I mentioned if the film had captured some of hank’s childhood then the film would have had more substance to it, therefore making it more watchable. The film wasn’t exactly unwatchable, not at all, I really enjoyed it. I just found that it was depicting moments in his life that we didn’t need to know and there likely would be other pieces of his life that we would like to see.

Tom Hiddleston was great, I thought, in the film. He is a fantastic singer and I really respect any actor who is brave enough to take on a real person in a character.

That is something I did really like, The music, The music was great and really gave the film its guts. I was very impressed.

Something that I really liked, and thought was genius of the film maker was adding actually real scenes of Hank’s life in key moments of his life, for example at the end having real news coverage footage was a brilliant added touch, which for me really saved the film. Also having the real music of William’s in the end credit also won me over.

Like I said there is nothing wrong with this film what so ever and I totally enjoyed it. I will say it will not be for everyone and it will certainly be to a certain audience. That doesn’t stop it from being a great film in the end.

★★★1/2| Ross Wilcock

Biography, Drama, Music | USA, 2015 | 15 | Sony Home Entertainment | 29th August 2016 (UK) |Dir.Marc Abraham | Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen, Maddie Hasson,Bradley Whitford | Buy:[DVD]