Anchor Staff Writer
On a sunny August day before venturing back to the world on campus, my husband and I decided to go on a date night for the first time in what seemed like forever. We skimmed the names of films available at the local Showcase Cinemas; neither of us had been to the theater since before the pandemic. We both eagerly stopped at a film title that had come highly recommended to us by my own parents.
After grabbing some popcorn and a drink and investigating the new theater renovations, we sat down to watch “Where the Crawdads Sing” on the big screen. I anticipated that this would be a good movie as it stayed in the theater nearly all summer, and still occupies screen space in some theaters, but what I didn’t expect was just how great of a movie it would turn out to be!
My husband and I don’t often see eye to eye on films, we can both be critical and in general we have far different tastes. However, “Where the Crawdads Sing” was the perfect marriage of mystery, romance and natural elements.
The film centers around Kya Clark who is known to most as “marsh girl.” Kya comes from an extremely broken home, and she originally lives with her mother, father and four older siblings. Her father is an emotionally unstable veteran who often drowns his sorrows in a bottle of liquor; resulting in an abusive and unreachable man. Kya’s mother finally leaves in the middle of the night after an especially explosive fight, deserting her children to save herself. One by one, Kya’s siblings leave; the last being her brother Jodie, whom she is closest to. At the age of ten, Kya’s father disappears, never to return. She spends the rest of her childhood in survival mode, learning to live off the marshes and staying away from anyone that could put her in a group home.
Kya becomes close with a boy named Tate Walker; her brother Jodie’s friend. Tate helps her to survive and even becomes Kya’s first love. However, Tate has one thing Kya does not, a family and opportunity. After he leaves for college and doesn’t return, Kya finds herself in the arms of a tall, dark and handsome Chase Andrews.
But Chase turns out to be dishonest and more like her father than she initially realized. He winds up dead in the marshes. Kya must prove that she is innocent to a town that has never cared for her, worried about her and abandoned her. She’s the social pariah and easiest to cast blame upon. Her fate lies in the very hands of the people who want nothing to do with her.
I can easily say that there wasn’t a single second of this film that I was feeling apathetic. I was constantly on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what happened next. The twists and turns throughout the film will not only keep you entertained, but will shock you in the end.
For the nature lovers, the stunning North Carolina Coast is so magnificently portrayed, and natural elements are embedded into just about every square inch of the screen. The harsh world of the marshes is painted in such a picturesque light that its raw beauty finds a way to peek through. One thing I know for sure, whether you watch the film or read the novel by Delia Owens, I do not think that “Where the Crawdads Sing”will disappoint!