Review: Where the Crawdads Sing: A Beautiful Adaptation of the Well Known Novel


Photo courtesy of Shanti Berman

Based of the novel by Delia Owens, the movie adaptation of Where the Crawdads Sing staring Daisy Edgar-Jones, is bound to let you feel the friendship, heartbreak, and mystery that comes with this beautiful story.

‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ – Directed by Olivia Newman – Mystery, Coming of Age, Romance, Emotional – PG13 – 2h 5m

A suspenseful mystery and inspiring coming of age story following the life of a young woman in the North Carolina marsh.

The film ‘Where the Crawdads Sing,’ which premiered on July 15th, 2022, is a beautiful and captivating adaptation of the novel by Delia Owens. Set in the 1950s and 60s, ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ is filled with love, heartbreak, friendship, and a graceful look into the nature and wildlife of the North Carolina marsh. The story follows Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones), a shy girl who was abandoned by her family at a young age, and is forced to learn how to survive on her own.

Living on her own in the marsh, the local citizens of Barkley Cove, a local fishing village not too far from where Kya lives, ostracize her from their society, calling her “The Marsh Girl”. Matters don’t get better for Kya when the local rich playboy, Chase Andrews (Harris Dickinson), is found dead at the bottom of an abandoned fire tower in the swamp.

From Kya’s point of view, the audience is able to follow her victories, hardships, and her ever evolving friendship with Tate Walker (Taylor John Smith), a thoughtful, gentle, and kind boy who has cared for Kya since she was a little girl, and who shares her fascination with the marsh and all of its creatures.

With a beautiful soundtrack and cinematography, the film strives to show the viewer how Kya sees her world. The audience is drawn to witness Kya’s great attention to all creatures that live in the marsh, from her carefully crafted artwork, to the way she constantly puts herself in their shoes.

Even though the mystery, romance, and heartbreak are what drives the story forward, director Olivia Newman wanted to make sure that quiet moments in the marsh or on the beach were just as prominent in giving us the audience a reason to keep watching. Newman also wanted to stay as close to the original novel as possible, keeping and implementing the small details that let a viewer immerse themselves in the story.

Newman decided to weave through the timeline a bit differently than in the book as well. Instead of casting the story in a linear fashion, the movie shifts from Kya growing up to Kya on trial for her supposed murdering of Chase Andrews. This, Newman explained, is to keep the audience in Kya’s shoes the entire time. With this slightly different experience, the viewer is able to see everything from Kya’s thoughtful point of view.

From the suspenseful mystery element, to the tender romance, to the graceful coming of age aspect, Where the Crawdads Sing is bound to give its audience a much needed escape from reality, and a beautiful view into Kya’s quiet, yet eventful life.