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Movie review: “Where the Crawdads Sing”

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

By Daniel Lin October 13, 2022

Based on the novel by Delia Owens, “Where the Crawdads Sing” is a coming-of-age murder mystery movie set in North Carolina’s coastal marshlands. The protagonist, Kya—played by Daisy Edgar-Jones—was abandoned as a child and forced to raise herself. For many years, Kya was cut off from the residents of the nearby town Barkley Cove as they saw her as an outsider. In spite of this, she begins to open herself up to the outside world when she finds herself drawn to two local young men: Tate, a childhood friend, and Chase, a local big shot. But as soon as Chase is discovered dead, Kya becomes the prime suspect.

The only noticeable difference from the novel was the diminished focus on Kya’s childhood; there are some key details that the movie leaves out completely. However, the plot is still cohesive enough to be easily understood.

The movie constantly jumps between courtroom scenes of Kya’s trial and flashbacks of her life story, often without any apparent contribution to the advancement of the plot. Although the flashback scenes are entertaining because of the breathtaking marsh scenery, the courtroom scenes were generic— reminding me of “To Kill a Mockingbird”—and consequently, dragged down the pacing. The plot itself was heavily loaded with twists and turns, so much so that many characters lacked development. While Kya is curious, adventurous, stubborn and has a personality that evolves throughout the movie, the other characters are much less complex. Many supporting characters served only to enhance the development of Kya’s personality.

Despite the film’s flaws, the emphasis on the beautiful scenery of North Carolina’s marshlands is a highlight that distinguishes this movie from others of the same genre. The portrayal of vibrant colors and dynamic wildlife of the marsh gave me a completely new appreciation for marshes; I have always seen marshes and swamps as the same, but the narrator clearly distinguishes that swamps are full of death but marshlands are teeming with life. Because of this beauty, I would recommend watching the film “Where the Crawdads Sing.”


  • Exquisite scenery

  • Thought-provoking message

  • Poor character development


About the Contributors

Daniel Lin

Viewpoint Editor

Daniel Lin is a junior at Leland High School and the Viewpoint Page Editor for The Charger Account. During his free time, he enjoys watching television shows, sleeping, and playing tuba.

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