*This review is solely based on the movie. I have not read the book yet.
Rumors are powerful. Regardless of whether or not they are truthful, they have a way of developing a life of their own.
Where the Crawdads Sing is a new movie based on the book of the same name by Delia Owens. Set in 1969 in the South, Kya Clark (Daisy Edgar-Jones) has been on her own since she was a child. Growing up in the woods, she is known in town as “the marsh girl”. Though she is independent and able to take care of herself, a part of her yearns for love and acceptance.
When Kya’s ex-boyfriend, Chase Andrews (Harris Dickinson) is found dead, the finger is pointed at Kya. Defending her is local lawyer Tom Milton (David Strathairn). The film flicks back and forth from the present to the past. Included in Kya’s past is her first love, Tate Walker (Taylor John Smith).
This film is really good. The whodunit aspect of the narrative kept me on tenterhooks. Kya is the type of heroine who is likable, human, and an outsider. That outsiderness is what made me want to follow her story and understand the choices she makes.
The visuals are fantastic. The beauty of nature and the animals that make up the world around us were front and center, adding layers and a character that is both touchable and distant.
The only issue I have is the characterizations of Mabel (Michael Hyatt) and Jumpin’ (Sterling Macer Jr.). They own the local general store and are one of the few allies that Kya has. The problem is that they are the only people of color in the film and unfortunately falls into the magical negro category.
Produced by Reese Witherspoon, this movie is one of the best this year. It is a slow burn that made me question if I knew the whole story until the very end.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Where the Crawdads Sing is presently showing in theaters.