I don’t know how I did it, but I went inside Where the crayfish sing completely blind. I never read the book, never saw a trailer for the movie, didn’t know what it was about…I didn’t even know who was in it. I was hoping this would make it fresh and interesting.

It didn’t.

Based on the 2018 novel delia owensthe movie stars Daisy Edgar Jones as Kya, a young woman not so affectionately known around town as Marsh Girl. In 1969 North Carolina, a young man is found dead in the swamp under a fire tower with injuries suggestive of homicide, and the first – and only – suspect is the infamous Marsh Girl.

The story is less courtroom drama and much more coming-of-age story. When Kya is introduced to her court-appointed attorney, she immediately opens up about her private life in an inelegant manner, and we flash back to 1953, where Kya (Jojo Regina) as a child, grew up in the swamp with a loving mother, multiple siblings, and an abusive father. One by one, they all leave and she eventually has to find her life on her own.


The story continues to alternate between the courtroom and Kya’s life in the swamp. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for it: there will be a few scenes in court, then lengthy scenes showing Kya’s life before the trial. It honestly felt like a director Olivia Neuman and screenwriter Lucy Alibar would have preferred to do a story about Kya’s life and only included the parts of the courtroom because it was part of the book and that’s why they had to do it.

Kya as a character doesn’t fit what should be expected of her. After speaking to a friend who had read the book, I learned that Kya was meant to be a “wild child”; Borderline wilderness, which is totally understandable for someone who has raised himself all alone in the swamp with no electricity or running water. And yet Kya thought of herself as a fairly quiet, sensible kid. She is always clean, her hair is always brushed and her clothes are neat. She walks around barefoot throughout the film, but her feet aren’t soggy. je.

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When she “grows up” and is portrayed by Edgar-Jones, the problems become different. Her mother is said to have taught her children (or at least Kya) how to speak properly, and the “not” isn’t a real word. And yet her mother never taught her to read or write. When Kya is a teenager and starts dating a local boy, Tate (TaylorJohnSmith), who was friends with her brother, he teaches her to read and write. Within a few weeks he had taught her the intricacies of molecular biology. Not only was this totally unrealistic, there was something disturbing about the idea of ​​a boy having to come in and “fix” the girl. Granted, Kya eventually uses her own knowledge of nature and drawing skills to eventually become a published naturalist—but it doesn’t come without Tate’s suggestion and a list of publishers from him.

Equally upsetting was the second boy to enter Kya’s life, Chase (Harris Dickinson), who is on trial for Kya’s murder. He is wealthy and you get the feeling he’s just walking on the wild side when he starts dating Kya. Kya doesn’t see that Chase is using her, and that makes for some very awkward scenes.

Where the crayfish sing is an oddly uncomfortable film, on many different levels. If you haven’t read the book I can’t imagine you would want to see this film; If you have read the book, I say proceed with great caution.


Where the crayfish sing hits theaters on July 15th.

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