Sunday, 8 May 2016

I Saw the Light (2016)

The biopic of country-western singer Hank Williams (Tom Hiddleston), looking at his both his domestic life and rise to fame. Or so the film thinks it is doing.

I would start by making the point that Loki and Scarlet Witch have teamed up, but Marvel have hired all of Hollywood to star in their films that it's inevitable that we get some mini MCU actor team-up every week. So I'll just jump into the film, which is an uninspiring muddle of a biopic.

I've talked about this kind of thing countless times before. It's the sort of biopic that lumbers from one scene to the other, cutting out the years and never really focusing on the subject. At best, it provides a montage of various moments from Williams' life. But there is little character development beyond showing the obvious domestic spats and singing scenes. There are also plenty of gaps in the timeline where the film presumes the audience will be able to fill in the details. Things just happen and, if you know little to nothing about the subject, you'll likely be very frustrated.

To make matters worse, the film lacks any kind of spark or energy to compensate for its addiction to the 'skip' button. Not even Hiddleston could save it (though I'm not going to judge the singing as it's not a genre I have much interest in and I had just come out of 'Florence Foster Jenkins' which would warp my views on what good singing is). It was all so glumly executed that it became a chore to watch and, unfortunately, that went on for two hours.

You're better off just reading a quick summary of the guy's life and listening to a couple of his songs in the process. You'd get more of a look at the person and music as well as saving yourself an hour or more doing so. The film, meanwhile, is a dull trudge. Which is exactly what I feared it would be.

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