Film Review- Where The Crawdads Sing (2022)

Very few  best selling novels cut the grade when it comes to book to film adaptations. Could Where The Crawdads Sing cut the grade? If we go by critical reviews this evocative story of resilience, the answer would be no. The fans beg to differ, they say yes. Today Sony Pictures Releasing give this mystery  romantic drama it’s home release . A flawed  yet captivating film , who can the girl trust?

Based on Delia Owens best selling novel of the same name, starring Daisy Edgar Jones as the films main protagonist Kya Clark, nicknamed the Marsh Girl. She lives in the marshlands close to the small town of Barkley Cove, North Carolina (actually filmed in Louisiana),on her own in the 1960’s. Who becomes number one suspect of the murder of Chace Andrews (Harris Dickinson).

After her arrest and into the actual court case, we start to learn about Kya. Through the 1950’s  with her brothers and sisters, her mother. Gradually one by one they are beat up and when they get a chance they all escape, all thanks to their alcoholic father (played by Garrett Dillahunt). Before we know it he disappears, though we never find out why or what happened to him.

Now it’s just Kya living own her own, reclusive, hardly a dime to her name. She cannot even  afford a pair of shoes. Kya does have two guardian angels,  a black couple (Mabel & Jumpin’) who run the local store. They help her with food, clothes,  Tate Walker (Taylor John Smith) who teaches her to read and write. He would become her first love before he leaves, Chace becomes her next ‘boyfriend’.

The warning signs should be ‘Best Selling book’ (12 million copies to be precise).  Not a negative towards the book, it has red lights very few great books get the adaptations they deserve. Where The Crawdads Sing is okay but isn’t overly great either. One example is the court scene which apparently is very intense , the film is more simplistic. The narrative jumps back and fourth and looses bit of it’s momentum, full of layers many only scratching the surface.

Where The Crawdads Sing is melodramatic at times, most of all solid, functional mystery drama, beautifully shot by Polly Morgan (A Quiet Place). Only saved thanks to Daisy Edgar Jones excellent performance.

★★★

Drama, Mystery | USA, 2022 | 15 | Blu-ray, DVD |  | Sony Pictures Releasing | Dir. Olivia Newman | Daisy Edgar-Jones, Taylor John Smith, Harris Dickinson, David Strathairn, Michael Hyatt, Sterling Macer Jr., Garrett Dillahunt

This was originally posted on The Peoples Movies, 24th October 2022 | original review link

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