There is something empowering and endearing about Where the Crawdads Sing. It’s a sad story about a strong woman in the face of adversity. It’s about young love. But leaning overall, this is a murder mystery. Then intertwined between these storylines are stories of hope, longing, family, nature and finding your place in the world.
On the shore of a marsh in North Carolina is a small home. Run down and in desperate need of work, live and a family. A drunken father, a mother who never thought her life would turn out this way and four children. One of those children, the youngest Kya, was eventually left on her own as everyone escaped their father’s abuse in search of a better life.
Kya didn’t have any money, didn’t know how to read and had no friends or family to take care of her. So she made the best of a bad situation. Using her father’s boat befriended the local service station attendant, Jumpin. He and his wife did what they could for Kya, new clothes and guiding her as she navigated womanhood.
It wants until Tate, a friend of Kya’s older brother Jodie befriends her and teaches her to read. And now, her life changed. That is until local hotshot Chase came into the picture.
Chase managed to convince Kya he loved her and could provide for her. Letting her guard down, Kya dreamt of a life that could be. That is until Kya found out about what he’s been up to in the village, the village where Kya doesn’t like to go.
Things go from worse to bad for Kya when she is accused of Chase’s death and taken to trial. With a town against her, she has no hope.
Where the Crawdads Sing was adapted from the best-selling book of the same name by Delia Owens. It also happens to come from Reece Witherspoon’s production company which has had a successful run to date.
There is a noticeable lack of quality to this film, almost as if it was rushed out. There is a terrible and pronounced use of the green screen. Rather noticeably with the fire tower. The hilarious makeup fails are noticeable as Kya starts to age.
The big pull for the film is the lead actress, Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People, Fresh). She has a beautiful ability to portray a thousand words in one look. Where she lets the character down is in the accent. It is such a soft accent it’s rather hard to pinpoint exactly where it’s from, and it most certainly wasn’t an accent from North Carolina.
Visually the film captured the beauty of something that shouldn’t be, the marsh. Its part in the film almost takes the lead in playing such a visual storyline. But there were some areas it lacked, in particular with the addition of CGI, as the seagull Kya fed on the beach.
Overall, it’s always hard to compare a book to its movie and vice versa. But without this book, there would be no original story. That’s the beauty of this romantic drama; it’s uniquely original. For such a great story, the film does tend to be a bit bland. But it will still tug on your heart strings.
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