Monday, October 17, 2022

Movie Review: Where the Crawdads Sing

 I enjoy reading more than keeping up with the newest movie releases so I have mixed feelings when one of my very favorite novels is adapted for the big screen. I am often disappointed in the movie version. But not this time. Not with Where the Crawdads Sing. I have enjoyed this movie so much that I've re-watched it several times since purchasing the DVD just a few weeks ago. I think the producers did a phenomenal job bringing Kya to the screen and keeping her story true to the book.



Movie Review: Where the Crawdads Sing

The setting is a small town near the marshlands of North Carolina. The town is shook in the 1960s when the popular young man, Chase Andrews, is found dead at the lookout tower that stands watch over the marsh. But the story begins years before that with the Clark family.

The Clark family lives in a small shack near the water's edge, in the marsh. Mr. Clark is clearly fighting some sort of inner demons and takes it out on those closest to him. Mrs. Clark is a mysterious lady. She lives in that marsh, with an angry man, a handful of children, and a pair of alligator shoes. She is an artist of some sort; painting plein air. She loves her children. Including her youngest, 6 year old Kya.

Over time, the Clark family grows smaller. At one point, young Kya is living alone with the man who physically abused everyone in the family. She trusts no one, has abandonment trauma, and relies on the marsh. Missing her brothers, it is not surprising that she grows to become happy when she sees her youngest brother's friend in his boat. At first, she can only wave and call a greeting to young Tate while her scowling father steers their boat past. 

Living at a level of loneliness that is suffocating, the marsh supports Kya. The townspeople call her "marsh girl". They bully her the one day she attended school as a very young girl. On any rare occasion that a human comes to her home, Kya runs and hides like a wild animal; disappearing into the marsh. 

Kya slowly begins to trust the waterfront shop owners and they grow to love her. As she becomes a beautiful young woman she becomes more interesting to Tate and to Chase Andrews. We see that she has inherited her mother's artistic ability but what else will she inherit?

When Chase Andrews is found dead at the tower that overlooks the marsh, everyone immediately defines it as murder and everyone immediately blames "the marsh girl". Was it murder? Was it an accidental fall?

The marsh knows.

Behind the Scenes

This movie is gorgeous. The scenery is wonderful with birds, tides, water, vast expanses and micro close-ups. In the special features, the producers (Reese Whitherspoon and Hello Sunshine) talk about the setting.

This movie is emotional. You feel the changing moods of the people as clearly as you see the changing times of day on the water.  

The actors and actresses were amazing. Most all of them were new to me and I look forward to seeing them in other roles. 

This movie stayed true to the Kya I met in the novel. Author Delia Owens appears in the features also. It was interesting to see them speak about choosing the actors, setting, and how to get through the timeline of Kya's story in the condensed movie version. I think they pulled it off wonderfully and could only  be improved (and not by much) in a mini-series length. 

Special Features included with the DVD:

  • Adapting a Phenomenon
  • Lyric Video "Carolina" by Taylor Swift
  • Creating the World
  • Women in Focus
If you have never seen this movie, or read the book, I highly recommend both. It may be more interesting to see the movie before you read the book in order to avoid the spoiler of knowing how Chase Andrews came to be dead.

Find Where the Crawdads Sing on Amazon Prime.

The Book Reviews: Where the Crawdads Sing


Where the Crawdads Sing was such a good book that two of us reviewed it here on Review This Reviews. You can read my review of the book (and see a photo of the marsh near where I was living) here and read Treasures by Brenda's review of the book here.




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7 comments:

  1. I have read this book and did not know they had made a movie out of it. I will have to see that as I agree with you that the book was fantastic and I can only imagine that the movie would be riveting as well. Thank you for this lovely review Dawn Rae! I'm sure that I will enjoy that movie as well.

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  2. From everything I have read about Where the Crawdads Sing, the novel is beloved by most who have read it. I’m very glad that the film adaptation does it justice, as so often that is not the case. While this is not the type of story I would usually be drawn to in either literary or cinematic form, your review has made me want to both watch and read it. Thanks for your excellent review!

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  3. I have yet to read the book, so I may well start with the movie. I do love it when a movie follows the book. This one sounds like a captivating mystery/thriller too, which is a genre I prefer in movies rather than books. Thanks for the great review and recommendation! I will definitely seek out the movie soon.

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  4. Having lived in small towns near the Marshlands of both South Carolina and Georgia, I can just imagine the setting for this movie. Plus, I am captivated by the idea of the story and can just picture the characters in this marshland setting and small town atmosphere. I also remember your book review, Dawn Rae. Thanks for this excellent movie review. I look forward to viewing Where the Crawdads Sing.

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  5. I loved the book and was wondering how the movie would be. Thank you for your review...now I will be sure to put it on my list to watch.

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  6. Ok, I haven't read the book or watched the movie - but the reviews from two people in family on the book has me wanting to read it - they raved about it - of course it's a number one best seller. I was wondering about the movie? It's available for rent right now - I think my mom said it was so sad, but I'm not 100 percent sure about that - I think that's why I've held off on this one; haven't been in the mood for sad - but it sure is a beloved book.

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  7. It can be disappointing when a great book is made into a movie but I am happy to know that this is not the case with this movie! The scenery sounds really beautiful and the characters well formed and acted. It sounds a gripping film with tension, mystery and emotion. Thank you for a great review and recommendation.

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