Friday, November 21

Boyhood

Growing up has never portrayed as brilliantly as Richard Linklater did in Boyhood. Shooting his two-hour film in a span of years, he brings us to the experience of actual growing up, from those pre-pubescent years to eventual adulthood. While its premise doesn't seem much on paper, it resonates with you more than you know.

Mason comes from a broken family. When we meet him, he and his sister were sharing a room, and their mother were barely making ends meet. His father has been out of the picture for a while, and while they miss him, they also continued their lives without him. Through Mason’s growth, we get to see how his life starts to mold, and the continuous experiences he acquires along with it. From rekindling his relationship with his absent father, to watching his mother start all over again after an abusive relationship, to his own pressures and stories while being a teenager. 

We never get left out of the moment while Mason does his growing up, because Linklater has presented it in a way that in some point in our lives, we were that guy. From his pop culture references, to the personality and lifestyle Mason upholds, we don’t feel isolated from his journey. As the hours pass by, there’s this feeling of actually journeying with him, that when he hits a certain point of his life, you’re there with him - you know what he feels, or what to think. Linklater has manipulated the setting that even if we’re watching from a limited point of view, we know what’s going on, or how to perceive such events. 

Besides witnessing Mason’s life, we also get a glimpse of the changes that are made with his familial life, particularly of his parents. Through those years we can easily patch the events his parents went through separately, eventually leading them to paths where they’re able to stand independently, or have second chances to redeem themselves. 

What makes Mason resonate with us is because he’s a normal kid. Usually when growing up films are done, a big family crisis, or an existentialism crisis happens to the character that in the end he’s all forced to grow up. Here, Linklater puts him in a situation where what he does can be deemed typical behavior, from his interests, activities, beliefs - including the actual drinking, smoking and whatnot, without it being one big production. He doesn’t spiral out of control, or become rebellious or suicidal - he moves on. During Mason’s life, he experiences all of these things, good and bad, but he chooses not to make the bad swallow him in fear. Instead, as his surroundings transition, he transitions with them. While I don’t think that he is the epitome of the ‘everyday kid’, there are factors about him that can make you say ‘I felt that the same way’, or ‘I was like that when I was his age’. 

Richard Linklater is an accomplished filmmaker, but what sells the film to the viewers is that it was shot in different years, so the actual transition of growing up is present. In a way, we get to see how Ellar Coltrane grow up. What also makes the film amazing is that the actors never lose their momentum at any age they were. It never felt like they all just left, and then got together again a year later. There’s a lot to love in this film, and it does make you feel nostalgic at times. It was a simple premise but presented in such a brilliant manner. 



Final Word: Another Linklater masterpiece.


Cast: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke
Director: Richard Linklater
Year: 2014

4 comments:

  1. Linklater knows how to knot his audiences to every moment in Boyhood. How every moment feels so nostalgic makes great points to this movie, especially, with moments like X-Box and Harry Potter buzz. Definitely a living moment.
    Great review, tho!

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    1. It really had a nostalgic feeling throughout, that you don't really notice the passing of the time. There's this factor about the film that allows you to consciously transition to another year without it leaving a big or questionable gap in between.

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  2. I really wish I had enough time to see this. 3h long is just so much time to devote to the movie, I'm hoping I will finally have some time around Christmas. Beautifully written review!

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    1. Thank you! The movie is quite lengthy but you don't really notice the passing of time (at some points I got surprised that I was already at that stage of the movie). I hope you get to see it soon!

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