"manages to celebrate the talent and artistry of one of the most significant and influential singers of the 20th century"

Recently Hollywood seems to be fascinated with Biographies of Iconic legends in the industry. Some of them are successful portrayals of their life and accomplishments, some others fail to remember the idol they wanted to celebrate. Among them, “I Saw the Light” is a tribute to the troubled life and art of one of the most influential country music singers, Hank Williams.

Adapted from Colin Escott's book “Hank Williams: The Biography”, I Saw the Light is a dramatised and romanticised portrait of Williams' difficult battle against addiction and how it affected his art and life.

The trailer, as it happens, was a bit deceiving; it made it seems like the main focus of the film was going to be Williams' relationship with his wife Aubrey (Elizabeth Olsen). However, this couldn't be further from the truth.

From the beginning, the film starts in medias res; Williams has just gotten married to Audrey and he is also trying to make a name for himself and being recognised for his talent among the many country musicians. By the way in which his marriage is portrayed, it becomes instantly clear that the main focus of the story is not a romantic representation of Hank and Audrey's relationship, but how his success shaped his short life.

Throughout the film Hank deals with the many difficulties that come with notoriety; the producers don't believe in his talent and he is also torn apart between trying to make his wife happy and follow his mother's career advice. In the midst of it all, the only constant feature in Hank's life seems to be a full glass of alcohol, some pills and his loyal band, who accompany him from the radio shows to the Grand Ole Opry's stage.

What is highlighted in the movie, it's how Williams reacts to everything that is happening to him. At first his personality seems to be strong and imposing. However, behind a façade of bravado and self confidence there is a fragile and tortured man trying to cope with his own demons.

His health condition and the chronic pain constantly following him around take a toll on his hectic life, and it becomes even more unbearable when the pressing fame brings him to extensive tours around America. In order to survive under all the pressure, Hank drowns in alcohol, driving away everyone who loves and respects him. As a biography, I Saw the Light prefers to focus more on the musician's struggle to keep up with the long awaited fame than on his life as a whole.

The cinematography, along with the costumes used in the film, is crucial in creating the right atmosphere typical of southern America of the 1945. The bright colours, along with the panoramic shots of the country, help the audience immerse in that historical period completely. The whole cast ensemble did an outstanding job in bringing to the screen their characters.

Tom Hiddleston proved once again that he is one of the most talented actors of his generation. He became Hank Williams in embracing his flaws and qualities. He captured his personality only with his voice. From the thick southern accent to the way in which he modulates it in a particular way during his musical performance, Hiddleston lost himself completely in this tortured character, telling his story with his body as well as his soul.

Elizabeth Olsen is a great supporting actress in portraying Aubrey Williams, she understood both her strength and vulnerability and it was refreshing to see, for a short while, two actors bringing to the screen the ups and downs of a relationship deeply marked and affected by Williams' rise to fame.

The music plays an important role in the film, with the soundtrack made up entirely by many of Hank Williams' greatest hits. They are integrated into the scenes in which the country singer and songwriter is performing on the stage. Tom Hiddleston had the chance to showcase his talent and he challenged himself by performing all the songs while staying true to Hank Williams' particular timbre, bringing back to life the artistry of this American musician.

However, the only downside of this movie is the fact that it doesn't flow smoothly. The piece is slow and the scenes are not combined together evenly. The cuts between one scene and the other are sharp and they make it seem like the film, instead of being a whole, is divided into small episodes.

Nevertheless, whist the flow is not steady, I Saw the Light still manages to celebrate the talent and artistry of one of the most significant and influential singers of the 20th century.