Where The Crawdads Sing Review: A Film That Sacrifices Storytelling For ‘Inclusion’

The next couple of months for movie releases is going to be pretty rough because there’s nothing noteworthy coming out until the late fall of this year. Until then we have to put up with the leftover movies that Hollywood Studios are trying to release because they don’t want to compete with Thor: Love and Thunder.

Photo by Michele K. Short/Michele K Short – © 2021 CTMG, Inc. All rights reserved.

In today’s age of mandatory diversity and inclusion initiatives, you’re noticing a lower standard of writing and a lower standard of directing when it comes to modern day movies. If you search for a writer or director of a recent film on IMDB, you will find out that these people have less work experience than your local high school student who just applied for a job at Walmart.

After discovering that Reese Witherspoon was the producer for the latest movie “Where the Crawdads Sing”, I came across two names: Olivia Newman and Lucy Alibar. After looking at their work experience, it became obvious that the producers of this movie were far more concerned about having female representation behind the screen than focusing on a coherent story.

Where the Crawdads Sing is a film set in North Carolina during the 1960s, a young girl named Catherine “Kya” Clark (Daisy Edgar-Jones) grows up in the woods with an abusive father and a mother who abandoned her years earlier.

Photo by Michele K. Short/Michele K Short – © 2021 CTMG, Inc. All rights reserved.

With no one to take care of her, Kya learns to survive on her own. She is taught to read and write by her friend Tate Walker (Taylor John Smith) and falls in love with him. But soon, her love is abandoned once again as Tate leaves Kya for college. She meets a boy named Chase Andrews (Harris Dickinson) who draws Kya into a tryst with promises of marriage that never materialize.

One night, Chase is found dead and Kya is engulfed in a murder trial as the prime suspect. With the evidence against her seeming insurmountable, Kya is in a fight for her life as she is looking at the death penalty.

Creatively, this film is an absolute mess, because the takeaway that the filmmakers want you to have about this movie does not mix with the actual story the film is trying to tell. The movie flips between two different narratives: a story of a young girl who is on trial for the first-degree murder of her ex-boyfriend and the story of how this girl came to be in the first place.

Photo by Michele K. Short/Michele K Short – © 2021 CTMG, Inc. All rights reserved.

The story works best when it’s a film about a girl who is overcoming adversity with all the obstacles thrown in her life. A girl that was forced to raise herself, teach herself how to read, and do whatever she could in order to eat and survive. When the theme of the film is about survival, the movie is at its best. The film loses its audience when it moves away from that story in order to jump back to the present time about the trial of a murdered man who we don’t even meet until the second act of the movie.

The film becomes a cheap episode of “Law & Order SVU” without any of the important plot details. We never get a flashback to the night that Chase died and there’s a reason for that. The movie goes through every painstaking detail of Kya’s life so that when we get to the conclusion of the trial the audience has a sense of relief. The problem with that is that as we spend 2 hours in the theater telling a story about how this young girl was judged and prosecuted by the town she grew up in, the twist of the film justifies that very judgment against her in the first place. But because Chase was a bad man, that’s supposed to justify the actions in the end.

The film is a bait-and-switch that spends 2 hours trying to play at the audience’s heartstrings as a means of justifying the end result of the film. This doesn’t work because the film omits important details about the protagonist, which prevents its audience from connecting with the character.

Photo by Michele K. Short/Michele K Short – © 2021 CTMG, Inc. All rights reserved.

The film is supposed to be set in North Carolina even though they are clearly filming in the bayous of Louisiana. The actors in this movie despite playing High School age kids look like they’re in their mid-30s. Not to mention that the film is littered with British actors who are trying their best to imitate a Southern accent. The 124 minute run time is not necessary for a movie of this style causing the film to drag. The movie isn’t woke but there are certain scenes that characterize men as villains who can’t be trusted. As a line from the film said “men like that have to have the last blow”.

Where the Crawdads Sing isn’t an awful film, But when you prioritize diversity and inclusion over the ability to tell a story, things get lost in translation and you are left with a film that doesn’t hit its mark.





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One thought on “Where The Crawdads Sing Review: A Film That Sacrifices Storytelling For ‘Inclusion’

  1. Your take was a little different from mine. “The actual story the film is trying to tell” is neither the courtroom drama or her trials against the adversity of the wilds or the town. The movie (and the book, originally) allude repeatedly to the notion that a life-form in nature will find a way to survive. It’s as simple as that.

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