Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette
Director: Richard Linklater
Running Time: 166 mins
Boyhood is an American film that tells the life story of a young man, Mason, from his childhood at age 5 to his leaving home at age 18.
This is a completely unique and original film. It’s not only the fact that it was filmed intermittently over 12 years, thereby showing the true ageing process of the same cast, but the fact that the entire film is just showing one person’s life. There’s no huge twist or Hollywood interference, it simply tells the greatest story of them all: life.
Let’s start with why the method of filming this over 12 years makes such a big difference in terms of its emotive depth. Basically, seeing Mason’s process of growing up in such clear and intimate detail immediately gives you such a profound emotional connection that often lacks in most other films where you have different actors playing one part.
But it’s not just the continuity of the central character that makes all the difference, the fact that everyone else around him ages so swiftly and naturally turns the film from a motion picture to almost a documentation of the life of a family, which not only makes it that much more interesting, but also incredibly real.
And that’s the main reason why this film is so impressive: it’s real. To be honest, very little actually seems to happen in this young man’s boyhood, it’s largely quite uneventful, but the fact that you notice it as this person’s life means you don’t need dramatic twists and pounding excitement to ke<iframe src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/Ys-mbHXyWX4″ width=”560″ height=”315″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”></iframe>ep yourself interested, because all it is is a condensed mirroring of many people’s lives, which does give you the ability to connect with it more.
And even though I say that it’s largely uneventful, the brilliance of it is that it is still realistically harsh. While it largely shows the good things about life, there are those tough times that it has to show to portray a life correctly; everyone has ups and downs and that’s just natural, and the way that this film shows that concept is so real.
The only reason that I didn’t adore this film was because I didn’t adore the main character, Mason. At a young age, he may be nice, but as he grows into a mopy teenager, which is the majority of the film, he’s a little bit annoying and whiny to go along with, but that again shows you that this film isn’t all rainbows, it’s just a real story of a real life, no matter how harsh or unlikeable some aspects may be, so that’s why it gets an 8.3.