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[REVIEW] ‘Where The Crawdads Sing’ -a current of emotion.- Rotoscopers

I was left speechless. For almost the entire run I was caught up in an emotional riptide that kept me in suspended animation and all I could do was let the tears roll down my cheeks.

“Where the Crawdads Sings” is the film adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name by Delia Owens. There is a mysterious death of a young man in the Carolina swamps. The small mid-century southern town is rife with gossip that the young woman they had always called an outsider might be behind it all. Her name is Catherine “Kya” Clarke (Daisy EdgarJones) but they just called her “The Marsh Girl”.

Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones) in Columbia Pictures’ WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING.

I hadn’t read the book before seeing this movie, so I didn’t know anything about the plot. I assumed there was some sort of romance involved and there was. The courtroom setting with the “first degree murder” in question was not intended.

At the start of the movie, my mind made a lot of connections with Kill a mockingbird. Kya was an outsider in a southern town during a time of prejudice. She was also on trial for a crime without sufficient evidence. Then there’s an Atticus-type character named Tom Milton (David Strathairn) and the young woman’s narrations throughout.

Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Tom (David Strathairn) at Columbia Pictures’ WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING.

As the story progressed, however, I saw less and less of this scenario and lost myself entirely in this girl’s life. I was watching a young “Kya” (Jojo Regina) go through her ordeals and it was like a real video of this girl’s life. She was left on her own as a kid and all you wanted was to see more people show her kindness. There is a humanization of all who do and a gaping hole in your heart when they don’t. The acting was superb.

Mabel (Michael Hyatt) and Young Kya (Jojo Regina) at Columbia Pictures’ WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING.

One moment that stood out to me was when you got a glimpse of why his father was the way he was; he grew up with the tide like his father before him, went to war, came home and didn’t know how to deal with trauma, self-medicated and always lived by the mantra, “You can’t trust no one.” This led to Kya growing up on a base of quicksand where her trauma became her determination to survive and the “nobody ever stays” mantra.

The film deserves its maturity rating. I would strongly caution anyone dealing with trauma from domestic or sexual abuse as this would definitely trigger. There was a time when I felt violated just by seeing him.

I know I’m having a terrible time in movies, but I’m someone who loves stories that make you want to look at people differently, with more compassion and less judgment. It fulfilled that desire and I loved it.

Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Tate Walker (Taylor John Smith) at Columbia Pictures’ WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING.

Where the Crawdads sing is a complex story that tackles many themes: good and evil, love and loss, safety and survival wrapped in courtroom mystery.

★★★★


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