Boyhood: Film Review

Boyhood

This is probably one of the most powerful films I have seen this year. It really makes you look at your life and how quickly time passes and it gave me a slight existential crisis if I’m honest. It is so unique and thought-provoking.

Ellar Coltrane stars as Mason, from the age of 6 to 18. The film was shot a few days every year for 12 years until 2013 and it shows all the cast members maturing like their characters. It is most evident in Coltrane but also pretty noticeable in Patricia Arquette, who plays his mum struggling to make ends meet. Mason and his sister Samantha are moved from home to home as she gets new boyfriends and occasionally meet up with their dad (Ethan Hawke) and this follows how their relationships change over the years.

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This is so realistic. It doesn’t have a big plot but it doesn’t need to, this is all about character and the changing family dynamic over the years. There will be moments when you relate with them all, even if it is just a sentence. It is so down-to-earth and natural. It helps that director Richard Linklater did not script this as such and the ideas of how the story should go were shaped by true events in Coltrane’s life, as well as the other cast members. That’s what makes it work. It never feels like you are watching something scripted. We almost feel like a fly-on-the-wall of their unconventional family.

It also helps that the cast had no hair or make-up budget and they just looked how they normally would (except I think they altered hair changes to show the passage of time). The songs played in the background and the gadgets used are also great hallmarks of time and made me feel pretty nostalgic.

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It is a long movie, almost three hours, but it is compelling the entire time. You want Coltrane to grow up to be a good person, you want the mum to find a decent man and have a career, you want Samantha to be happy and the dad to be more mature. You feel for them and seeing them grow as people throughout that time, as the same actor, just makes that feeling every stronger.

This will make you examine your life, warm your heart and leave you feeling inspired.

Trackbacks

  1. […] This is simply beautiful storytelling. While it didn’t have a complex plot or a particularly poignant ending, this coming-of-age tale has to be seen for its uniqueness. It was shot over a 12-year period with the same actors and the outcome is intriguing and equally terrifying. It really scares you into thinking how quickly time passes. It really deserves all the awards recognition it gets. Read review here. […]

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