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DVD review « Celebrity Gossip and Movie News

Alexandra Heilbron
on September 20, 2022 | Leave a Comment

Where the Crawdads Sing is the story of a young girl named Kya. She enjoys her life with her mother and her elder brothers and sisters, but when her mostly absentee father is at home, he turns their lives into misery. After one beating too many, Kya’s mother packs a suitcase and leaves. One by one, her siblings all eventually follow, striking out on their own to find their way in the world — even Jodie, her brother who’s closest in age to Kya.

Left alone with her father, the little girl learns how to make herself scarce when he’s been drinking and how to appease him at other times. Until one day, he doesn’t return home either.

Now completely alone, Kya has to figure out some way to obtain food and navigate her way around the marsh in her father’s motorboat.

The movie stays very true to the best-selling novel by Delia Owens. It’s not just a coming-of-age story, but it’s also a murder mystery, with a hint of romance. The locations chosen for the film look exactly as I’d envisioned them while reading the book. Picture a little girl out in a beautiful marsh filled with wildlife, who constantly watches for possible danger (from humans), but who also craves human interaction.

Kya goes to a small store on the water’s edge where she’s able to sell mussels to the proprietor, a Black man named Jumpin’ (Sterling Macer Jr.), whose wife Mabel (Michael Hyatt) quickly realizes Kya’s predicament and puts together a package of donated clothing and shoes for the little girl. The couple become Kya’s guardian angels — making sure she has enough to survive.

She also makes friends with Tate, her brother Jodie’s friend. He shares her love of the marsh and the plants and wildlife found within. When he discovers she’s never been to school, he teaches her to read and write.

Even though some things have been condensed to fit into the two hour movie format, the movie is as faithful an adaptation as you could hope for. It begins with a young man found dead — whether he’s had an accident or he’s been murdered isn’t clear to the police — but they decide the evidence points to murder, and to Kya as the culprit.

As the film switches to Kya’s childhood and then back to the present several times, viewers are drawn into the details and the charm of Kya’s childhood — at times idyllic — and at times, incredibly lonely and frightening.

Daisy Edgar-Jones is perfect in every way in the role of Kya. From watching the bonus features I realized she’s British — but I had no idea before that because she absolutely nails the North Carolina accent. She also portrays Kya just as she’s pictured in the novel — with strength, but also a touching vulnerability. As the couple who take an interest in Kya’s welfare, Sterling Macer Jr. and Michael Hyatt have the warmth that…

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