The Murder of Chase Andrews

Where the Crawdads Sing

Director: Olivia Newman

Cast: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Harris Dickinson, Taylor John Smith, David Strathairn, Logan Macrae, Garrett Dillahunt, Jojo Regina

Film Rating: 8 out of 10

Running Time: 2 hours and 5 minutes

Based upon the bestselling 2018 novel by Delia Owens, the film adaptation of Where the Crawdads Sing is a handsome and beautiful production using nature as its yardstick, with slick direction by Olivia Newman and a sparkling musical score by Mychael Danna. At the centre of Where The Crawdads Sing is the mystery of the murder of Chase Andrews, a wealthy young man from North Carolina who gets involved in the beautiful yet illusive Marsh Girl, Kya Clark wonderfully played by British star Daisy Edgar-Jones.

Chase Andrews is found dead in the Carolina Marsh and Kya Clark is the only suspect. But who is the Marsh Girl?

Kya Clark was abandoned by her siblings and mother at a young age in the marshes where she lived with her abusive father Pa played by Garrett Dillahunt and then soon her father abandons her leaving Kya alone to fend for herself. Having grown up in the marshes and being intimately attuned to nature, Kya develops a talent for naturalist drawings of all the creatures in the marshes and she also develops a crush on the nearest neighbour Tate Walker played by Taylor John Smith who treats Kya with respect and compassion even though he is unsure how to date her initially.

After Tate Walker fails to keep a promise on Independence Day, Kya drifts into the nasty and privileged world of the brutal but dashing Chase Andrews expertly played by Harris Dickinson (The King’s Man, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil).

While trying to pursue a career as a nature illustrator to fund her purchase of the land and house that she is living in, Kya gets embroiled in an affair with Chase Andrews who proves not to be the man of her dreams, despite his charm and confidence.

After Chase’s body is found, Kya is arrested and luckily legal aid comes to assist her in the form of a benevolent lawyer Tom Milton played by Oscar nominee David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck).

Set in the 1960’s in North Carolina, Where the Crawdads Sing is an engaging story about a mysterious marsh girl, her hidden talents and her ability to fend for herself when local gossip is used as a weapon of exclusion because she is different, and not socialized into the urban community.

Covering themes of illiteracy, exclusion, abuse and hidden talents, Where the Crawdads Sing is a fascinating story about a mysterious girl who rises above all the ridicule to survive in a hostile world. Her only safe place is the Carolina Marshes where secrets and betrayals are buried.

Beautifully directed by Olivia Newman, Where the Crawdads Sing is highly recommended viewing especially for those that have read the book and gets a film rating of 8 out of 10.

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