Where The Crawdads Sing, a Crawdad is a freshwater crayfish, is based on
the novel by American author Delia Owens. First published in 2018 by
January 2022 it had sold over 12 million copies worldwide making it one of
the best-selling novels of all time.
Where the Crawdads Sing tells the story of Kya Clark (Daisy Edgar-Jones), a
girl abandoned by her father and mother and left alone to raise herself in
the marshlands of North Carolina.
Pretty much shunned by the people of the nearest town, who know her only as
“Marsh Girl”, her only friends are the two kindly shopkeepers that she
regularly visits and her childhood friend Tate Walker (Taylor John Smith).
After the local high school quarter back and town playboy Chase Andrews
(Harris Dickinson) is found dead in suspicious circumstances Kya, for
reasons that are never really made clear, becomes the prime suspect.
The film then jumps back and forward in time going between her early life
in the swamps and the ongoing murder trial. Defended by the local lawyer
Tom Milton (David Strathairn) the trial, the pivotal part of the story,
much like the rest of director Olivia Newman’s film, fails to generate any
Daisy Edgar-Jones, an English actress best known for her British TV work is
woefully miss cast in the lead role. With her perfect hair, teeth and
clothes, in every scene she is in she looks as if she has just walked off
the pages of a Gap catalogue, there’s never a moment when you can believe
that this is a girl who has had to fend for herself in a swamp. Smith and
Dickinson don’t fare much better, both of them coming across as the type of
stereotypical American high school students that we’ve seen in countless
Where The Crawdads Sing is entertaining enough and there’s worse ways to
pass a couple of hours but by the end it feels more like a bad Nicholas
Sparks film rather than a big screen adaption of one of the most successful
novels of all time.