Movie Review: Where the Crawdads Sing

Movie Review: Where the Crawdads Sing
I had been looking forward to this movie for a long time—and hoping it would live up to the book, which my book club read as our very first book, and which was fantastic. The good news is that it stays true to the source material, which makes for a very compelling film.

The movie opens in the present, where Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones, Normal People) is being charged for the murder of Chase Andrews (Harris Dickinson, The King's Man). Kya, known as "The Marsh Girl" to the town's residents, since she lives all alone in the marshlands, is sitting in prison when Tom Milton (David Straithairn, Lincoln), a retired lawyer, decides to take on her case. Kya starts by telling him her family history, shown in flashbacks, as well as the loves she meets along the way—family friend Tate (Taylor John Smith, Cruel Intentions) and later, Chase, whose murder has been pinned on her (but is she innocent, or not?). Milton's job is to prove her innocence, which is going to be tough, since the entire town knows her as "The Marsh Girl" and has been prejudiced against her from the start. 

I really loved this movie. It takes place in the Carolinas, and the weeping willows make for fabulous cinematography. I read the book a few years ago now, I believe in 2018 when it came out or in 2019, and I believe it mostly stays true to the book, which a few details changed here and there. It's produced by Reese Witherspoon, whom I was hoping would use the source material wisely, and she did, thankfully. Edgar-Jones is great as Kya; I was trying to figure out where I had seen her before, but she was in Hulu's Normal People miniseries (also based on a book, actually). Smith is also good as Tate, a friend and then boyfriend whom is kind to Kaya and teaches her how to read and write, and Straithairn does a good job as her lawyer.

Yes, see this movie, and see it in theaters—if not for the plot, then for the beautiful Southern cinematography, which reminded me of Savannah, one of my favorite Southern cities. I do recommend reading the book at some point, as well; there's a slight twist at the end that I wasn't sure would make it into the movie, but it does show up, albeit at the very end. I'd also recommend staying until the end for a new Taylor Swift song, aptly entitled Carolina, which plays during the credits. 

Where the Crawdads Sing is rated PG-13 and with a 2 hour and 15 minute runtime, and it will be in theaters on Friday, July 15th. 4.5 stars out of 5.

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