Where The Crawdads Sing is a compelling murder-mystery coming-of-age–story that sticks to the book it was based on. Check out the details in my parents guide movie review.
Where the Crawdads Sing drops in theaters tomorrow, July 15th. The movie is based on the popular Delia Owens novel of the same name and rocketed to a global sensation after Reese Witherspoon chose it as part of her book club list. It stars Daisy Edgar-Jones (Fresh) and Taylor John Smith (Sharp Objects), and sticks to the book plot very precisely. Check out all the details in my parents guide movie review.
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Where the Crawdads Sing Movie vs Book Differences
Where the Crawdads Sing Movie Quotes
Where The Crawdads Sing Parents Guide
In Where the Crawdads Sing: Abandoned as a girl, Kya raised herself in the dangerous marshlands of North Carolina. For years, rumors of the marsh girl haunted Barkley Cove, isolating the sharp and resilient Kya from her community. Drawn to two young men from town, she opens herself to a new and startling world.
Where The Crawdads Sing Age Appropriate Parents Guide
Let’s take a look at what parents need to know before letting their kids watch Where The Crawdads Sing.
Language: Where the Crawdads Sing contains some language that might be inappropriate for children. Lookout words include: one use of the word sh*t, d*mn, hell, b*stard, and d*mmit.
Violence: The film contains some violent scenes that may be very triggering for some viewers. Characters are shown hitting and slapping children until they are bloody and bruised, as well as domestic abuse. A dead body is shown. There is also an attempted rape and a beating, which ends with a very violent punch to the face of a female character. There is a theme in the film that revolves around bullying a girl for being different, which may be upsetting for some audience members.
Nudity/Sexual Content: Where the Crawdads Sing does not contain straight-up nudity, but there are scenes that show characters removing their clothes while passionately kissing. However, the only thing viewers can see is some side boob. There is also a scene in which characters are shown having sex. While the characters are clothed, there is thrusting.
Where the Crawdads Sing sticks very closely to the plot in the book, which is filled with twists and turns. It will have audiences on the edge of their seats and guessing until the very last minute. The novel begins in the same way the movie does, with the discovery of a body, and the film continues to follow the novel, telling the story in a nonlinear fashion. While fans of the novel will appreciate the way the filmmakers stick to this sort of storytelling, it may confuse viewers with the many flashbacks in Kya’s life, starting with her as a very young child, working its way back to the present day.
Where the Crawdads Sing succeeds in its casting choices. Daisy Edgar-Jones, who is best known for her recent performance in Fresh, plays the lead role as Kya. Not only does Edgar-Jones have the look for the part, but she also perfectly portrays the sweetness and simpleness of Kya, along with the awkwardness that is needed for the character. There was a bit of a disconnect between the older Kya and the younger version, played by Jojo Regina. Kya is supposed to be shy, timid, and a bit passive. However, young Kya was a bit too feisty in the role, and it didn’t mesh well with the way the story was told. Taylor John-Smith (Hunter Killer) plays Tate and exudes the good-heartedness and kind demeanor that represent his character. Bad boy-rich kid Chase Andrews is played by Harris Dickinson, who has the perfect mix of charm and attractiveness, while also clearly exhibiting those bad boy qualities needed for the antagonist role.
Where the Crawdads Sing is a visual love letter to the North Carolina marshlands where the story is set. Director Olivia Newman highlights not only the serene and peaceful lands, but also the creatures that reside there. Glorious wide-angle shots, quickly zooming in to close-ups with flocks of birds circling above. The pacing of the story, along with viewing the majestic nature from Kya’s perspective, results in an artistic view of the area brought to the big screen.
It wasn’t an easy task to adapt Where the Crawdads Sing from the page to the screen, especially considering the book is not the best literature out there, but Newman succeeds in telling a compelling story while also capturing the essence of the book and its characters. This is not a film for the masses, so I am not sure how successful it will be at the box office, but it is a welcome break from all the summer blockbusters. Kids will want to skip it, but this movie is perfect for date nights and older couples wanting a change of pace from the usual fare.