Where the Crawdads Sing: The 4 Biggest Changes from Book to Movie – Vanity Fair | WHs Answers

This post contains spoilers for Where the crayfish sing.

At this point mega producer and book club connoisseur Reese Witherspoon is adept at the art of book-to-screen adaptations. After helping with pastoral versions of Ex girlfriend, Wildand big little lies among other things, she has now produced the sparkling, soapy one Where the crayfish sing, which hit theaters on Friday.

Based on the bestselling novel by Delia Owens (who was herself involved in the investigation of a real-life murder), the film follows the reclusive Kya, a woman forced to survive in the North Carolina swamp after being abandoned by her family. Kya is brought to life by Daisy Edgar Jones, fresh of her turns a normal people and Under the banner of heaven. In the midst of her unorthodox growing up, Kya falls in love with two very different men: the sensitive Tate (TaylorJohnSmith) and scheming chase (Harris Dickinson). The latter ends up dead near an abandoned fire station and his dumped ex-girlfriend becomes the prime suspect.

Translating a beloved work is a tricky business, but screenwriter Lucy Alibar has said that she often spoke to Owens about how best to customize her characters. “I knew right away that I loved Delia because she said, ‘Please don’t ruin the Southern accent — I hate that!'” Alibar shared vanity fair March. “Delia trusted all of us to take her baby and show it in front of even more people.”

The film adaptation always remains true to its source material Where the crayfish sing differs in some places. Here are four of the most pressing differences between the book and the film, including a deviation in Kya’s ending.

Kya’s childhood

As with any book-to-screen adaptation, some of the novel’s more detailed storylines need to be condensed. The section that gets hacked the most is Kya’s childhood, which takes up several chapters of the book but only about 20 minutes of the movie. This means much of the context for Ma’s (Ahna O’Reilly) Leaving her family and being abused by Pa (Garret Dillahunt), who has all his children except young Kya (Jojo Regina) will be deleted.

As the book explains, the couple’s marriage was devastated by the Great Depression, which led to Pa’s gambling and alcoholism. The film does not provide a reason for Pa’s abusive nature, nor does it flesh out the close bond Kya shares with her older brother Jodie (Will Bundon). Kya’s arrest in the Chase Andrews murder case also occurs much earlier in the film, which frames her childhood anecdotes as flashbacks she tells her attorney (David Strathairn) instead of its own segment.

Chase’s engagement

When Tate leaves college, he and Kya’s relationship ends (temporarily) and presents a chance for Barkley Cove’s most troubled bachelor. Step into Chase Andrews, who is secretly dating Kya while publicly referring to her as “the Marsh Girl” and talking about her in a sexually derogatory manner. In the book, Kya discovers that Chase is engaged after seeing his wedding ad in the newspaper. The film makes this revelation decidedly more cinematic by having Kya run into Chase and his friends outside a grocery store, one of whom is posing as Pearl (Caroline Kohl) – Chase fiancee.

Kya’s literary career

“I didn’t realize words could say so much,” Kya says in both the book and film after Tate taught her to read. In the months following her literacy skills, Kya begins to draw and write about the nature that surrounds her in the swamp. For both the novel and the film, Tate Kya has provided a list of potential publishers for her work to be seen. In the book, Tate shares this list after already leaving college and returning to reconcile with Kya. The film has Tate make this gesture — one that Kya doesn’t consider until she needs the money to pay back taxes on her property —before he’s going to school. Faced with foreclosure, Kya is motivated to publish her novels for her own financial security and not just to share her insights with the world.

Tate proves to be a wealth of knowledge for Kya. The book version of Tate not only teaches her how to read and how to get her books published, but also explains to Kya what her period is. This scene is (fortunately?) missing in the film adaptation.

The end

Don’t worry, book purists – the surprising twist ending of crayfish, in which it is revealed that an exonerated Kya actually murdered Chase remains intact. However, the manner in which an advanced Tate discovers this revelation changes. In the book, under her floorboards, Tate discovers a poem by Amanda Hamilton, the poet Kya often quotes. Entitled “The Firefly,” the piece contains a metaphor about female fireflies killing their mates and reads like a thinly veiled confession. Tate also finds the shell necklace Chase was wearing in the hours leading up to his murder, leading him to realize that Kya committed the crime. This means, of course, that Amanda Hamilton was a pseudonym used by his now-deceased wife for her poetry.

The film takes Amanda Hamilton out of the equation. Instead, Tate finds a journal with sketches of himself, Kya, and Chase next to the shell necklace taped to one page. In both the book and film, Tate vows to keep Kya’s secret by disposing of the husk of a rising tide.

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