A film full of symbolism and hope that will bring you back down to Earth.
Where The Crawdads Sing, set in mid-20th century South America, centers around a young woman named Kya Clark, who lives reclusively in the marshlands neighboring a small town, after being abandoned by her mother and siblings fleeing her abusive father. Suddenly, submersed into the spotlight, Kaya finds herself accused of murdering a man she was once involved with, which is believed by the local townsfolk, who negatively label her as the ‘Marsh Girl’ and relish in imagined myths and horror stories regarding her demeanor.
As an avid fan of productions both on stage and screen, my motivation for embarking upon a new motion picture usually either encompasses a fruitful plot or following the journey of an actor/actress, who has caught my attention previously for their performance. In the case of Where The Crawdads Sing, Daisy Edgar-Jones’ gritty and down-to-Earth performance in Normal People (2020) first left me curious as to what further quality she could later produce within her career, with the plot of the film then later confirming my choice to watch the film.
Despite being the kind of person to ‘read the book before the film’, entering the cinema with no real expectation with regard to the storyline or plot itself only aided its mesmerising nature.
I soon became entranced and enthralled in the natural beauty of simplicity, which was captured so effortlessly by director Oliva Newman throughout. Admittedly, the opening sequences were found to be a little complex, with the victim serving little relevance in the storyline until later on, but with hindsight, I can appreciate that this was perhaps intentional to put the audience in the shoes of those within the courtroom, drip-feeding details of her life as time progressed.
After being so overcome by the story presented to me on screen, I was thus surprised to learn that the film itself has received bleak reviews from critics – a cautionary lesson to avoid the press and opt to make your own judgments regarding creative works.
In a film that tackles themes such as sexual violence, one would not expect such peace and tranquillity to radiate from the story being told, but that was, indeed, the overarching feeling that consumed me after leaving my seat in the auditorium. It serves as a reminder to be kind and considerate to others, and to remember life’s natural pleasures, which follow us all in any-which direction we so desire; a message I feel is lacking in society in times gone by.
Where The Crawdads Sing is ultimately a beautifully produced movie full of suspense, which breathes a weirdly poetic sense of life into those who so choose to watch it. It is absolutely a film that will remain with me for many years to come – I cannot wait to read the novel of the same name by Delia Owens and fall in love with the storyline all over again.
Where the Crawdads Sing, distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing, is in UK cinemas now. You can watch the trailer below: