The movie “Where the Crayfish Sing” is great because of the changes in the books


Although the film adaptation of “Where the Crayfish Sing” is different from Delia Owen’s 2018 novel, the changes made to the book help make the film interesting. To adapt the book so that its author and readers don’t hate it, filmmakers combine hundreds of pages into a 120-page script, combining staying true to the book and creating a compelling film. As new adaptations develop, “Where the Crayfish Sing” — a study of the growing up of Kia Clark, a young girl abandoned by her family and living in the swamps of North Carolina — is striking in its correspondence with the source material.

After many years of loneliness, Kiya opens her world to the heroes of “Where the Crayfish Sing” Tate Walker and Chase Andrews. The latter soon turns out to be dead, and Kiya, or “Swamp Girl”, is condemned by the city of alienation as his killer. However, “Where the Crayfish Sing” was not popular with critics, who were criticized for the reductionism of the intricate novel. Nevertheless, as the Rotten Tomatoes audience assessment shows, viewers do not perceive this adaptation as a failure, and changes compared to the novel lead to an excellent, albeit different, presentation of the story.

Through changes in the novel — the order of events, Cue and other characters — the film corrects, but encourages the story and character of Cue, making the film exciting. “Where the Crayfish Sing” admittedly falls into the trap of condemning some plot points, depth and original tone so that they remain on the pages of the book. However, the changes also use the use of cinematic means to create a more digestible and convincing version of the story; the film has already become an underrated film adaptation.

Where Crawdads Sing Changes in the Novel make the Movie More Effective

The film deviates greatly from the chronology of the novel, changing the central lens through which the story of Kii is explored. The book periodically interrupts Kiya’s life with the investigation of Chase’s murder, as two policemen gather evidence to bring Kiya to trial. Conversely, in the film, the trial, a more central and exciting event, is used as a modern basis, emphasizing the past of the Cue. The demonstration of the trial of her murder throughout the time contributes to the shift of the point of view from the novel, in which the omniscient narrator is in the third person, to the fact that the Cue becomes the core in the first person. Daisy Edgar-Jones’s play “Where the Crayfish Sing” is very strong for this. Access to Kii’s voice allows the audience to relate to her more closely and makes the transmission of the best lines of the novel even more impressive, for example, the metaphor that pain does not disappear, it just goes deeper, like water into sand.

The beginning of the film is a whirlwind, and before the audience knows about it, Kiya is brought to court. This creates a feeling of helplessness, as she is transported from her world to the city at a double pace. This polished drama quickly evokes sympathy from the viewer, creating a strong juxtaposition with her life in the swamps. To reinforce this juxtaposition, the film glosses over Kii’s traumatic childhood, which is detailed in the book. In the film, she is not defined by her past, but rather, according to the idea of the director of “Where the Crayfish Sing” Olivia Newman, Kiya is portrayed as a steadfast and independent woman who, at least in a swampy area, does things her own way. In the end, she even conquers the outside world, and is allowed to live in peace in the swamp again, winning the trial in her own way, refusing to defend her innocence in front of the same townspeople who shunned her.

However, not all sizes of the film’s characters survive after adaptation. Kii’s fascination with animal mating schemes, which is widely represented in the novel, is barely developed. While this may sacrifice the stunning use of omens in the book, it keeps the audience in the dark to create a more unexpected ending. Where the crayfish sing. Unfortunately, the Jumper, a local shop owner who takes care of the Cue from afar, also plays a lesser role, and his experience as a black man in the mid-century south is shunned. Where Crawdads Sing misses the opportunity to add depth to this character and properly contextualize the movie. Despite this, the book changes have mostly borne fruit.


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