Where the Crawdads Sing is based on the popular book by Delia Owens. The film is directed by Olivia Newman, and I found it to be convincing in the narrative sense. The opening entails a dangerous past, and the film is a journey of discovery for a girl who had to raise herself. Actress Daisy Edgar-Jones plays Kya, the main character. Her voice narrates the darkness of her past and makes the movie enthralling.
Where the Crawdads Sing presents itself in an out-of-focus manner and has a murder mystery vibe. The points that are unfocused link to Kya’s character as she goes through trauma and makes various errors as a child. Her character seeks the means to educate herself because she lives in a time when school was not a viable option for a girl like her. Kya is the ultimate and wonderful hero of Where the Crawdads Sing. She encounters many complex obstacles on her journey, and Jones is believable and faithful in her performance as Kya.
The plot of the film centers around Kya, a girl abandoned by her parents at a young age. She grows up in the marshes of North Carolina in the 1950s. The people in her region, Barkley Cove, refer to her as the Marsh Girl. While Kya is raising herself, she finds love in her life with two different men at two different times. They are Tate Walker and Chase Andrews (played by Taylor John Smith and Harris Dickinson). Kya finds herself as the suspect in the murder of Chase which is the worst situation in her already difficult life. Fortunately, she has an attorney who is committed to finding a way to help her. Her attorney is Tom Milton who is played by David Strathairn. Tom believes he can keep Kya out of prison, but Kya must revisit the negative moments she once had with Chase to convince the people of Barkley Cove believe that she is not Chase’s murderer. Heads begin to roll with many questions as the drama and evidence run deep.
As Kya is consumed with stress and depression, her mental state links back to where she felt connected the most. The film exploresmore challenging issues for Kya, and its audience. The moment where Kya feels most loved and appreciated are when she is being taught to read by Tate. Kya’s says in one scene, “I didn’t know words can hold so much.” Kya feels a form of connection that she never had. I truly appreciated Where the Crawdads Sing for its empathetic moments.
The invigorating aspect of this movie comes from the way it portrays the emotional power of love. Kya has a life where love is also discombobulated with abuse, infidelity, and betrayal. Kya’s suffering is not what she deserves. Where the Crawdads Sing is a tale that is faithful to its book adaptation and its cinematic audience. Watching the film is like putting a puzzle together to determine what the outcome will be for Kya. The harsh evidence against her displays the hatred and suspicion Kya has had to endure in her short life. Three stars for this solidly adapted film with many emotional obstacles that is a bit overdone at times, but fans of the book are bound to adore.