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Sometimes a lead actor and their performance have so much charisma and presence, they can almost make up for the rest of the project’s mediocrity. With all the Funny Girl drama we’re hearing about from Broadway lately, I’m reminded the only reason the musical is even a classic is because of Barbra Streisand’s star-making, breakthrough performance back in 1968.
Contemporarily, one of the hottest TV stars out there—Daisy Edgar-Jones—has been having quite a nice wave of success following BBC’s “Normal People” (2020), FX’s “Under the Banner of Heaven” (2022), as well as Mimi Cave’s Fresh (2022). This month she’s the star of Olivia Newman’s film adaptation of Delia Owens’ mega successful 2018 crime-romance novel Where the Crawdads Sing.
In early 1960s North Carolina, Catherine Danielle Clark (Edgar-Jones), who goes simply by ‘Kya,’ lives in isolation in the state’s wetlands and is the subject of much gossip and rumors by townspeople. Kya decides all she needs is the wilderness and her art to live after being abandoned by her whole family by the time she’s 12. That is until two charming, yet completely different, young men enter her life: Tate (Taylor John Smith) and Chase (Harris Dickinson). Tate is a childhood friend who almost turns into her first love, while Chase is a new guy in town with a secret or two. Kya’s life takes another unexpected turn when Tate moves away for college and the young woman becomes accused of a local murder.
Daisy Edgar-Jones Does The Heavy Lifting
David Strathairn plays Kya’s lawyer when she’s on trial, and Ahna O’Reilly appears as Kya’s mother in flashbacks. Where the Crawdads Sing relies greatly on Edgar-Jones, as she really does successfully carry the story on her own and makes Kya an interesting protagonist. It’s a strong start to a legitimate jump from the small screen to the big screen, if she wants to take that route. Crawdads as a story in general, is pretty much your paint-by-numbers, soapy, melodrama with an extra layer of mystery. You get the same vibes and themes that can be found in Joel Schumacher’s The Client (1994), with a dash of Nicholas Sparks-esque romance.
The two male leads of Where the Crawdads Sing aren’t the most memorable performers, and it’s hard to really think they’re worth all the drama and heartache Kya goes through for them. But hey, the public seems to really love the whole southern gothic atmosphere within fiction, as the original novel sold a boatload of copies, so maybe the screen version will do well too.
As for the theme song—‘Carolina’—composed and recorded by Taylor Swift: it is what it is. If you’re a committed fan and like her sound, you’ll dig it as usual. For those who enjoy Daisy Edgar-Jones as an actress and can get past original author Delia Owens’ own recently exposed connections to a real-life murder, Where the Crawdads Sing could be worth a watch.
Are you interested in seeing ‘Where the Crawdads Sing?’ Are you a fan of Daisy Edgar-Jones? Let us know in the comments!
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