‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ Goes from Beguiling to Snooze-Worthy

Olivia Newman’s “Where the Crawdads Sing” has been effectively marketed by its studio as an event film based on a popular novel.

This isn’t the first time a best-selling book has been made into a movie, although it’s unfortunate that Reese Witherspoon (who serves as producer) and other talented film artists have worked on such a project. project with very little impact.

An exaggerated adaptation of the best-selling novel, it doesn’t match the one-of-a-kind novel and movie punch of “Gone Girl” (2014) but on par with “The Girl on the Train” ( 2016) disposable.

Recently, I went with a friend to steal books in the Target aisle, looking for a copy of “Where the Crawdads Sing,” but only found that it was sold out. I don’t know if it will be like that another month, after everyone has seen this movie in the middle of the road.

Daisy Edgar-Jones plays Kya, who lives alone with her abusive father next to a swamp in North Carolina. When everyone in Kya’s family abandoned her, she was left alone to support herself and became an outcast town, known as the “Swamp Girl”.

The story swings between 1969, with Kya on trial for murder, and rich flashbacks to the 1950s, where we see Kya come out of hiding, fall in love, and develop her abilities. as an artist.

I like Edgar-Jones’ performance, but the personality is shallow. There were too many unanswered questions about how Kya was able to raise herself alone in the cabin.

She hardly looks like a “Marsh Girl,” as she’s the most attractive character in the movie, sporting makeup, flawless hair, and a clean wardrobe in every shot. I know it’s a movie, but this is like a Disney depiction of childhood trauma. The character should be like Sissy Spacek in most of “Carrie” (1976) and not Mandy Moore in “A Walk to Remember” (2002).

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Her good work and mysterious story intrigued me at first, until the whole thing went silent for so long it seemed the filmmakers had stopped caring about providing answers to the question. Ask the focus.

Edgar-Jones has been very good lately.”New(Appeared on Hulu), although these two 2022 leads make me hopeful that lead roles in better movies will come her way in the near future. David Strathairn plays Kya’s lawyer and has the most spirited performance in the film.

Supporting actors are good, but the character is all one note. The dialogue is overly self-conscious, sounding more like a writer’s comment than actual spontaneous thought. In fact, the whole movie has that problem: this always seems like a movie and is never something that can actually happen.

Perhaps on the writing page, it made more sense, but when it was made into a movie, the whole thing was a bit contrived.

By the middle, I’ve gone from wondering who to questioning when this dull, boring movie will finally start moving.

At first, I was fascinated by the story, until it became a variation on “The Notebook” (2004) by the second act. The flashback structure is a big deal, as it spans a predictable love story, keeps us out of the suspense of knowing the outcome, and makes the trial feel longer than the OJ Simpson trial.

I didn’t read Delia Owens’ 2018 book, although that’s not a prerequisite for appreciating the film. In fact, whether it’s Harry Potter or “Waiting to Exhale” (1995) or “The Right Stuff” (1983), any film adaptation has to stand on its own and succeed in its own right, no matter what. whether a pledge of complete allegiance or sole proprietorship. represents some fidelity to the source material.

Are there any better movies than the books they’re based on? Sure – Rob Reiner’s”Miserable” (1990) is at the top of my list and it is not an isolated case. However, a great film must inspire us to seek out the source material.

The location might be weird for some, but here’s the same rich/poor class divide and the tortured romance of both “Pretty in Pink” (1986) and “The Notebook” (2004). ), including a few. There’s more immediate information on the romance triangle here and whether Kya will be announced the outcome of the murder trial, which is a clear sign something has gone wrong.

Newman’s film is so engaging and without any grit, any suspense and character depth is turned to dust.

I love the music of Mychael Danna. Taylor Swift’s “Carolina,” played at the end, is one of the best movie songs of 2022. It also looks great – in fact, the visuals are just too perfect, too beautiful for what’s given. is quite sinister.

After drawing out the story for longer than expected, the story finally has a big reveal that I won’t reveal or hint at. I would say, however, that the answer to the big question is such a counter-climate fiasco that the filmmakers should have concluded with an ambiguous story.

If someone had told me how this movie ended first, I wouldn’t have wasted my time on such a petty sports ending.

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Unlike Gillian Flynn’s recent, analog mini-dramas of “Sharp Objects” (2018), with its terrifying punch of revealing its big last-minute twist, “Where the Crawdads Sing” seems to determined to soften the impact of the great secret and leave us unfinished.

Compared with, for example, the large, shocking whale of the final scene of “Presumed Innocent” (1990), this is like a long, lineless joke.

There are a few things here that I like, but the cumulative effect has led me to nickname this “The Place of the Turkey Stones” as I walk to the garage. I know, juvenile and stupid, but then, “Where the Scammers Talk” too.

Two stars

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