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Drama - Court Room

Where the Crawdads Sing (2022)

Duration1h 38m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: PG-13, Denmark: 11 
Source of storyBased on the 2018 novel of the same name by Delia Owens
DirectorOlivia Newman
Writers/ScriptLucy Alibar
StarringDaisy Edgar-Jones, Taylor John Smith, Harris Dickinson, David Strathairn, Michael Hyatt, Sterling Macer Jr, Garret Dillahunt, 
RatingsIMDb: 7.1/10 by 36,586 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 33% by 200 critics. Review2view 4.5/10.

Summary: In 1969 the Marsh Girl of Barkley Cove, North Carolina, Kya Clark is arrested for the murder of Chase Andrews, a young rich boy. She is defended by Tom Milton who asks her about her life. Hence we see her as a child living with her abusive father mother and four siblings, all of whom leave her, even the father. So she sells fresh water oysters to the local swampside shop in exchange for food and clothing. She goes to school for one day but is ridiculed by the other children so runs away. She inherits paints from her now absent mother and paints sea shells and later is taught to read by a nice young man with whom she falls in love, but is deserted by him. On the rebound she is wooed by a rich local boy who is up to no good. He has sex with her, but all the time is engaged to another. They fall out. It is his body which is found.

Content: There is some sex, without nudity but as the IMDb guides say “with thrusting”, and one attempted rape, with the rapist getting beaten up. Kya’s father beats up his wife and the children then one at a time they all leave. The father sobers up for a bit but eventually departs. Kya is seen as a child motoring about in a small boat, collecting oysters and drawing shells. As a young woman she I still doing those things except that she has a lot of pictures in her shack. There are the two romances and the court case, from which all the scenes as shown as flashbacks. Then finally a lot of flash forwards.

A View: The audience response to this outing is really interesting. The book sold millions in America and likewise the film has made a lot of money. The Rotten Tomatoes audience gave it an almost universal thumbs up, but not many critic liked it. My wife and I saw it in Madrid where it has just been released and were not impressed, although it has taken us some time to work out why. We conclude that this girl is supposed to be a sort of alien figure, shunned by everybody except the black store owners. But why? Despite the fact that she lives in a shack, she is always clean and tidy, sometimes looking as if she has been recently scrubbed. She should have sufficient nouse not to be taken in by Chase, and the evidence for her arrest for murder is so slim that there is hardly a case at all. So not really a watch unless you are a fan of the book. 

There are better courtroom dramas out there, some reviewed on this site including : A Few Good Men, The Verdict and the one apparently used by those training advocates My Cousin Vinnie.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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