Boyhood: A Film About Life, Growth, and Being Human
“Boyhood” is a simple film about life, most particularly growing from child to adult. The premise of “Boyhood” is universal to everyone. We’ve all experienced it. And while the main plot seemed very simple. It was still engrossing. I didn’t get bored and was eager to see what would come next.
“Boyhood” forced me to relive my childhood. As I experienced Mason’s childhood, I remembered aspects of my own. Even little plot events, such as making childhood friends and first heartbreak, brought back memories. I related well to Mason and his sister. I grew up around the same time they did- I was a child in the 90s and early 2000s. I felt a connection to the characters and their journeys.
Throughout the film, there were references to pop culture and historical events that put the setting into context. These included music references, such as Brittney Spears and Lady Gaga, and political references, such as the war on terrorism and the 2008 presidential election. These slight references flowed smoothly into the dialogue and scenes just as they do in people’s lives. They weren’t super important aspects of the film, but just parts of growing up.
The major feat of “Boyhood” was that it was filmed over 12 years. Transitioning between the years was seamless. I liked director, Richard Linklater’s approach. Each scene flowed from one to the next no matter how much time had passed. He kept the pace constant and fluid. It was straightforward and not confusing. The change of time was only illustrated by the change in the characters’ physical appearances. And time is like that; sometimes, it just sneaks up on you and all of a sudden, you’ve grown.
I was impressed with the acting from all involved, especially from newcomers, Ellar Coltrane (Mason) and Lorelei Linklater (Samantha). They starting acting before they could really understand what the art was, and they stuck through it to the end, only perfecting their craft. They made their characters feel real and natural. Both Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette were casted perfect as Mason and Samantha’s parents. The chemistry between all four characters was amazing. They really were a family.
What I appreciate about “Boyhood” was how real it was. At its core, it was about life- the journey of life from child to adult. It was about real situations that may seem small, but really do influence us all greatly. Many dramas nowadays focus on extreme events and exaggerate. “Boyhood” is both simple and powerful. It’s about real drama, the biggest drama of all: life.
The impact of “Boyhood” stayed with me past the film’s conclusion. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. “Boyhood” invoked a lot of feelings in me: sympathy, joy, sadness, excitement, etc. And these feelings lingered on after the film had ended.
My only complaint: “Boyhood” was too long. Two hours and forty-five minutes is considered long even for most action films. “Boyhood” also felt extra long because I had been expecting it to be on the shorter side considering it’s synopsis. Because of the pacing of the film, I had no expectations for the ending, so I felt like I was waiting for it to finish.
All in all, I would not be surprised if “Boyhood” wins best picture. I haven’t seen all the other nominations yet to make my definite pick. But, I must say “Boyhood” definitely lived up to the hype. It was a beautiful work of art.