The Romance Every Woman Needs
Common criticism for the film revolves around the opinion of the main character Kya aka “Swamp Girl” having a dry and bland personality while I say these are the same privileged individuals who haven’t experienced or remain ignorant to the struggles faced by women and minorities still prevalent today nor do they grasp the gravity of domestic abuse.
This is not a romance film but it is a love story. Where the Crawdad’s Sing tells the life story of a young woman learning to love herself and the world around her while growing to understand the significance of relationships and learning to love other people again. If you’re looking for a cheesy Hallmark flick or a thriller murder mystery, look elsewhere. The suspense found in the film is understated and the intensity is locked in character moments rather than larger actions. The same individuals who are unimpressed with the film are generally the same ones who didn’t catch how the “twist” ending is stated numerous times throughout the film.
Kya is a quiet girl who adopted such traits to survive life with an abusive alcoholic after the rest of her family abandons her in the swamp. Thus, you have to listen and pay attention to the quieted voice of a woman as she learns to stand on her own and develops a healthy sense of pride.
If you’re into conspiracies, watch this.
The silencing of this film by critics illustrates a larger silencing of women who are tired of sitting still, looking pretty and tired of having to scream just to be heard. Through coming to terms with the abuse she faces, there is dignity in how Kya grows into an understated quietness and overcomes her silenced shyness. The film is rich with phenomenal performances by the cast, gorgeous cinematography, and deep characterization which aims to cinematically tell a larger story of voices not well heard which are as well-hidden as where the crawdad’s in the swamp sing.
You will either love or hate this movie. A film rarely lives up to the expectation of a book due to the drastic change in mediums. However, as someone who did not read the book, the film has a mystique to it. The southern nostalgia isn’t blindsighted by the dark history it surrounds and opens with lovely narration to illustrate this concept.
If you don’t want to think or enjoy poetic narration in your films, don’t see it. This is not meant to be a sexy murder mystery full of romance, though there is a deeper love of Kya dicovering herself and learning to love others in different ways. Furthermore, Kya falls into toxic relationships during the film, so if certain topics trigger you then please proceed with caution. As much as I enjoyed the film, I do not believe a certain scene was handled properly and was made for shock not emotional impact. That being said, I am highly critical of certain topics being shown on screen, so I would do your due diligence if you are under the age of eighteen or have trouble with certain traumatic topics. If you enjoyed films like Ordinary People (1980) and want to see a deep character exploration and have a love for thoughtful imagery and philosophical musing, then you’re going to enjoy the trip this film will take you on a