You don’t see such movies often. And that is because they don’t make things like these. Richard Linklater’s latest Boyhood is one such movie. Filmed in 39 days over 12 years Boyhood celebrates coming of age of a boy and engages you not with its method, but with its insight, innocence and reality. As I watched this movie I felt like I was growing up all over again seeing the references to pop culture, society, politics, middle school, high school, and technology. It was incredible to experience that.
Boyhood is a thought-provoking account of a boy’s journey to adulthood and the changing nature of various relationships around him and how things change with time. Boyhood tells the story of Mason(Ellar Coltrane), who we follow from ages 5 to 18.With Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, and Lorelei Linklater, Linklater assembles a fine cast. Each character is so real and so involved, it makes the movie easy to watch.
For me the star of the movie is Ellar Coltrane as much as Richard Linklater. As you watch Mason’s transformation,his performance will floor you. It is so subtle and poised over the years it engrosses you with the character as he portrays young Mason as a boy, brings him through adolescence and his coming of age. The way the director and the actor has shown the kids thought process, his confusions,his flaws, its just brilliant. It’s one of the year’s most outstanding performances.
As Mason’s Dad, Ethan Hawke takes his character to another notch. Showcasing an unrestrained and eager willingness to connect with his children, Hawke is an intriguing look into fatherhood while Patricia Arquette as the “Mom” ignites the spirit of “motherhood” delivering a performance that landed her BAFTA, Crtics Choice, Golden Globe and an Academy Award Nomination. Meanwhile, the sister played by Linklater’s daughter, Lorelei undergoes a parallel rite of passage, just as their separated parents endure their own life changes. You will fall in love with her transformation from girl to woman.
The close to 3 hour time duration should not discourage you. Rather I wanted to see more of Mason and others journey and where it takes them. Boyhood succeeds at a technical level just as much as a narrative and performance piece. But the best part about Boyhood is that while watching it you will forget everything else and focus just on the characters.
Boyhood is about simplicity. It is about life. It dreams and hopes and encourages us to do so. The movie ends with a line which just wins everything for me, said by a teenager-
“You know how everyone’s always saying seize the moment? I don’t know, I’m kind of thinking it’s the other way around, you know, like the moment seizes us.”
Rating- This movie doesn’t need rating. Just go watch it. It’s that good