phoebesfilms’s review published on Letterboxd:
i give 5 stars to harris (as always) , but 3 to the film overall. i could find the average by math-ing these together but i won’t xx
[potential spoilers i guess? tl;dr] this was always going to be a difficult one to adapt. so much of the novel is heavily focused on kya’s interior state of mind, her relationships (with herself, others, and the marsh), and this is what i feel suffered the most by adapting — but , this is , of course, a natural result of transferring any written media into film, and i do think that adding voiceover helped somewhat. i wish that the film had focused more on the trial and the actual night of the murder itself — i think leaning more into a thriller / murder-mystery tone could have really distinguished it from the novel and therefore provided the film with a distinctive point of view (and isn’t that what adaptations should do at the end of the day?), but i did feel sufficiently compelled throughout. this was thanks most of all to a combination of the incredibly beautiful locations/production design, and the acting of daisy and harris in particular.
i don’t find the argument of ‘the book is better than the film’ to be a particularly productive method of assessment in any situation, so i won’t use it here, and as far as adaptations go this one is not without merit. nonetheless, again i think the script would have benefitted from fleshing out the investigation more extensively, and giving chase and kya’s ‘relationship’ more of the context that was in the book.
nb. we can remember that films and novels are two completely separate mediums while also engaging critically with the material :) it’s called media literacy <3