Richard Linklater’s BoyHood is such an endearing piece of art that you can’t help but praise this film. Shot for over 11 years with the same cast, it seemed like a documentary, even though it wasn’t. It’s a film that could’ve gone either ways, but I suppose the conviction and hard-work was such that it went towards the right direction.
The film itself is like a little baby who transformed in front of my eyes.
Linklater captures all the moments so beautifully that I was completely drawn into Mason’s world and because he gave so much of time to his characters and those little-little moments, he had me all nostalgic.
BoyHood is a piece of everyone’s life. At one point of the film, I started to believe that I know these people who’re in front of me. I know why Mason’s so confused, I know why Olivia (his mother) freaks out so much and what’s her dilemma, I know what’s his sister Samantha’s mind-state when she doesn’t pick her brother up from school. With every moment of the film, I had a certain reaction-I would smile like an idiot when the younger Mason would pursue a lingerie magazine with his friend and chuckle about the pictures or when an irritated young Mason gets a forceful haircut and is made fun of, until a girl from his class tells him that his new hairdo looked ‘kewl,’ and he smiled.
I would laugh looking at the siblings fight and tease each other, but feel for the mother at the same time, as she gets tossed between her two children and a broken marriage. The emotions were relatable, the crux was real and that’s why BoyHood is such an exceptional film. Looking at all those different phases of Mason’s life, I could go back to mine and realise what was wrong /what was right. The marijuana and hook up phase, the falling in love phase, the ‘I’m so confused’ phase and the break-up phase, almost everyone goes through the same thing. But the point is, we’re so engrossed in the future that we forget to live the moment, we forget the beauty of today, the beauty of right now. That’s what Linklater shows, that’s why the film grew on me and I didn’t have appropriate words to describe how I really felt. It was an emotional experience, more than anything else. It was so human.
When he’s leaving for college and refuses to take the first picture he’d clicked, his mother breaks down in distress, realising that time flew by, as both her kids were in college and soon they’d be living their own separate lives. She was petrified by the fact that all these years she lived for her children, she lived the life of a mother and today, when both of them were gone, the next important thing in her life was her funeral. Yes, that’s what time does to you. It was such a tearjerking moment that I had no control over my tears. I felt for my mother, who’s done so much for me and my younger brother, but since we’re so much into the future and always wondering what next, we forget how important and special every moment is. Even though BoyHood is about Mason and his journey to adulthood, it also quite considerately speaks about the struggle of a mother to raise her children.
It’s so beautiful that it pierces through your soul and leaves you mesmeric.
Had to mention this separately: Ellar Coltrane is phenomenal, especially after he enters his teens, he adapted the character to perfection. Mason is Ellar, Ellar is Mason.
Patricia Arquette, as Mason’s mother Olivia catches the nuances so beautifully that all her emotions stayed with me-Love, Confusion and Anguish.
BoyHood might have changed me as a person, though I’m still quite unsure. But the fact that it made me unsure, is enough to tell you what a masterpiece it really is and that too, by a filmmaking virtuoso-Richard Linklater.