Where the Crawdads Sing



Where the Crawdads Sing

Film review by Ian Browne Shamrock News

An adaptation from the very popular novel by Delia Owen, this story centres around a little girl who lives alone in the swampy marshlands of North Carolina. Abandoned by a troubled family she spends her life with the creatures of marshland. Though ‘streetwise’ to the whims of her surroundings, Kya’s naivety to the social mechanics of the local township sees her being accused of murder.


Like many films they do lose something when sent to the big screen. However, this has drawn many to its mystique, and the behaviour of the characters; Kya’s herself, leaves one totally invested in the outcome.


The southern drawl has been blunted somewhat in the film; the characters are played well. I found the scenery beautiful. Showcased are southern US’s splendid swamp trees, cloaked in Spanish moss. Kya, played superbly by English actress, Daisy Edgar Jones, is a gorgeous nature lover. A sensitive young man is Tate (Taylor John Smith), I think it would be hard not to fall in love with who Kya is, just quietly. Generous is David Strathairn as Kya’s lawyer, the two river store owners, adorable.


While celebrating life’s important moments, this film offers up moments for those who enjoy a tickle to their tear ducts. It took me back to my own childhood, observing nature and its creatures; and my teen years exploring the surreal marshlands around Botany Bay with close friends. The characters who do their best to support the girl in the marsh are thoughtful and kind, while Kya lives the life of the marshland where the yin & yang of nature enchants; shows Kya its perils, and teaches her resilience.


I am not here to spoil what is a brilliant storyline, but this film with its cruelty, kindness, beauty, and sin, must be savoured to the very end.


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