‘Where The Crawdads Sing:’ Murder mystery film that addresses real-life issues


I have to start this review off with a disclaimer. I haven’t yet read the book “Where The Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. This makes it possible that the differences between the book and the movie are noticeable, either appreciated or disliked. That being said, after watching the film, “Where the Crawdads Sing” has moved its way up my TBR and I hope to read it soon.

“Where The Crawdads Sing” came out July 15. The film is set in North Carolina around the 1960s-70s and tells the story of Kya Clark (Daisy Edgar-Jones), a young girl who grew up in the marshes and was abandoned by her family. The movie, as well as the book takes its plot from themes of abuse, neglect, alcoholism, social ostracism and sexual assault, among many others. “Where The Crawdads Sing” also follows the good, with elements of love and following your dreams, as Kya becomes an author and publishes books illustrating the different insects, birds and plants that live in the marshes she grew up in.

The film’s plot follows the murder of Chase Andrews (Harris Dickinson), a wealthy young man who lives in Barkley Cove. He is found dead, having fallen from a fire tower in the swamps, and the townsfolk are quick to point the blame on Kya, considering her past relations with Chase. Prior to being with Chase, Kya meets Tate Walker (Taylor John Smith), whom she ultimately ends up falling in love with. When Tate leaves for college, Kya is introduced to Chase and finds herself in a relationship full of abuse and manipulation. Dickinson plays Chase well, with his harsh demeanor making you fear for Kya’s life at times. Smith, who plays Tate, brings a sense of comfort to the story, with his kindness and protectiveness towards Kya.

A sense of comfort and kindness is presented by Mr. and Mrs. Madison, a couple who own a small shop in between the marshes and the mainland. The Madisons take care of Kya as much as the can when she is abandoned by her siblings and parents, often giving her clothing and food, and trading mussels she’s collected for money and gas.

The final 20 minutes of the film leaves you guessing on what truly happened in the murder case of Chase Andrews. Who’s to blame? Was it a tragic accident? You believe you know the answer, even when it’s not outrightly said until the very end. I love mystery movies and novels and I honestly didn’t see the ending coming. The events throughout the movie make the ending seem unrealistic, to a sense, and that seems to be my only issue with the film, as well as the book, if the same events unfold.

The location the movie was filmed is absolutely breathtaking, along with the soundtrack. Taylor Swift created the original song “Carolina” which plays during the end credits of the film, adding a haunting feel to the end of the movie after the plot twist is revealed.

Grade: A-