Where the Crawdads Sing Film Adaptation Lives up to the Novel

There will be spoilers in this review. Read with caution.


Where the Crawdads Sing, a book recently made into a movie adaptation. There’s bound to be some comparison between them and questions commonly asked with a new adaptation. Was it faithful? What are the changes if any? The movie and book revolve around Kya Clark, a girl who grew up in a small fishing village in the North Carolina marsh and was accused of the gruesome murder of her abusive lover, Chase Andrews.

As with any adaptation from a book, there have to be some adjustments considering it’s 368 pages to a 2-hour movie. The novel’s detailed plot must be condensed. The divergences in the movie from the book are in Kya’s childhood, where in the book it spans up to a decent chunk of it, while in the movies, they do it in around 20 minutes. This is so important because the background is what gives Kya character and makes the readers invested in her story. Another change was how Tate discovers his wife did indeed kill Chase Andrews. The book revealed this through a poem, making the discovery personal yet subtle.. The movie just had Tate find a seashell. Which was incredibly anti-climatic since anyone could waltz in and discover that Kya had done the deed. In comparison if anyone but Tate had read the poem they would think nothing of it. It was Tate’s closeness with Kya that made him realize Kya had skilled Chase.

IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes rated the movie positively compared to Goodreads, a literature review website, who rated the novel 4.4 out 5 stars.  The primary reason why the adaptation was rated high was the collaboration between the screenwriter, Lucy Alibar, and the author, Delilah Owens, on how to adapt appropriately. Other reasons include the incredible cast the movie had, including Daisy Edgar-Jones, who really breathed life into Kya and Taylor John Smith.

All around, the movie was indeed a faithful adaptation while still being a great watch. Even so, the only thing they screwed the pooch with was Kya’s childhood being cut down to a measly 20 minutes. This movie is certainly proof that if done right, book to screen adaptations can be amazing with respect to the original work, something that billion-dollar companies seem to have difficulty doing, *cough* Percy Jackson