Literature has always been the production garden of cinema. I think no art has benefited from another art as much as cinema has benefited from books. However, book adaptation is also a dangerous business, especially when it is fantastic. Fantastic worlds are works that are loaded on their reader’s imagination and lead them to imagine many things that are not real. For this reason, possible adaptations may result in failure. However, adaptations of works that tell the simple dramas of daily life are usually successful. It’s not hard to imagine because they’re stories from among us. Where the Crawdads Sing is one of them. I cannot say that I have read the book, but I must say that I loved the result and felt sad towards the end.
Let’s briefly touch on the subject… A mother who can not stand the fights and violence she inflicts leaves all her children in the house and goes into the unknown. After that, over time, the big boy, the middle girl, and finally, the little boy also run away. Only Kya remains with her father. She will not leave his father until his father leaves her. Kya spends years alone in her house. She pal up with the forest where she lives but became a stranger to the city. Until years later, a boy from the city comes out and befriends her.
We are constantly discussing the representation of strong women in cinema these days. Many writers or producers think women can be empowered by masculinizing or being given a sword. But if we seek the essence and want to get closer to the truth, we will find the strong woman not on the battlefield but in the city, struggling alone. Kya is one of them. Despite everything, she managed to survive and continues to live. But just like everyone else, she needs support and a hand. It doesn’t matter if it’s a woman or a man; we can’t do it alone. Life is easier with someone. This is where Tate Taylor enters the story.
The film tells the story of a girl trying to open up to the world and meet men for the first time when she opens up. Meeting Tate for the first time, Kya learns to read and write, thanks to him. Then she moves away from her comfort zone to turn her living area into a book. Moving away from her area, Kya encounters predators, as she puts it. Nature is not always beautiful. Kya learns this by experience. When Chase’s dead body is found in the swamp, the people blame her, and Kya actually learns by living how ugly people can get.
The screenplay is written by Lucy Alibar, based on the book by Delia Owens. It is directed by Olivia Newman. Directing is essential in such calm stories with high emotional intensity and revolving around a single character. Olivia Newman doesn’t interrupt by simply telling Kya’s story. The director’s goal, who decorates her film with beautiful landscape shots from time to time, is to show us what Kya feels, not herself. She does this successfully too. As I will explain in the next paragraph, it is evident that the director made the movie better with the actors.
I first met Daisy Edgar-Jones on Normal People. We see once again how the naive actor, who appeared again with Fresh this year, suits such calm and delicate stories. The projects she is involved in are works that do not include extra acting. However, with her subtle nuances, we can see how talented she is and how well she uses body language.
Where the Crawdads Sing is not a movie that everyone can enjoy. It has a structure that draws its strength from the viewer’s life experiences. Personally, it had a huge impact on me. When we put together loneliness, trusting no one, problematic relationships with family, and finally seeing Kaya’s dream before she died, I couldn’t control my tears. The film’s success in conveying Kya’s feelings was also instrumental for me in making sense of and empathizing with her. With Daisy’s calm but strong acting, I can say that I lived by watching a strong but needy person struggling for life.
To sum it up… Where the Crawdads Sing is a beautiful story about an abandoned little girl growing up alone and then encountering art and the opposite sex. It’s a lovely film that simply tells the story of a girl who has spent her life inside her lines and then tries to leave it and therefore encounters the wrath of the human being, but also the love of her life. I can also say that your perspective on life and experiences will completely change the pleasure you get from the movie.
Cast & Crew
director: Olivia Newman
writers: Delia Owens(based upon the novel by), Lucy Alibar(screenplay by)
starring: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Taylor John Smith, Harris Dickinson
USA | 2022 | 125 MINUTES |