In this film, director and writer, Richard Linklater, took the one thing that everyone, of all walks of life, no matter the age, gender of lifestyle, can relate to, and that is, growing up. Boyhood is a film about a young boy, Mason, who is going through the very happy, sometimes sad, and often, awkward stages of adolescence. The movie takes place over a span of twelve years as the young boy grows into a young man literally right before our eyes.
The movie started production in 2002 and wrapped up in 2014 so anyone who grew up in or around that time specifically could really appreciate the references made in relation to that generation. Boyhood will bring you back in time to the good ole days of harry potter, star wars & to when Soulja boy was the latest dance craze at every middle school dance. The film really is a time capsule in itself and will be relatable and relevant for years and years to come. The references may get old, but the process of growing up will never change.
Some critics argue that there is no real story within the film, which in some aspects is true. Because of the natural progression of events through-out the film & the fact that it reflects so much of everyday life, the “heroes journey” isn’t as prevalent. Rather than one story with one main plot, Boyhood is more of a collection of short stories that in the grand scheme of things, has no need for a hero, or an epic love story, just a boy, his family, and the world that encompasses them.
The dialogue is this movie is definitely something that should be applauded. It’s so real and in the moment & the performances made by the actors, especially Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke often times don’t even feel like performances, because they are so genuine. That brings me to the lead role, Mason, played by Ellar Coltrane, whose believability is a bit weak in the beginning of the film but progresses and becomes more natural as time goes by. Keep In mind that the film started when he was 6 years old and wrapped up production when he turned 18.
Linklaters idea of using the same actors over the course of 12 years was pure genius and gave the audience the opportunity to grow with the characters and see them change, physically, emotional and in all aspects of growing up. Now I will say that this film doesn’t have too much re-watch value. Not only is it slightly under 3 hours long but it is also a very personal and intimate movie that is better consumed when watching alone rather than just popping it in while company is over. With that being said, it only takes watching the whole thing 1 time through in order to appreciate the simplicity & realism of the film. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars.