Boyhood is a 2014 American coming-of-age drama film, written and directed by Richard Linklater, and starring Patricia Arquette,Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, and Ethan Hawke. Shot intermittently over the course of a 12-year period from 2002 to 2014,Boyhood depicts the adolescence of Mason Evans, Jr. (Coltrane) from ages six to eighteen as he grows up in Texas with divorced parents (Arquette and Hawke).
After The Imitation Game, this was the second Oscar nomination that I was able to watch this year. When I downloaded it I had no idea that this movie was shot over a period of 12 years. So imagine my surprise when the first leap occurred & the stars aged as they might in real life. Only much later did I bother googling & found out this interesting bit of trivia.
What I liked:
- The fact that it was shot over a period of 12 years. That was certainly something interesting & new.
- It was all very real. Children cringing as they hear their parents fight, a woman trying not once but thrice to get a man who would be with her for life & failing each time, the same woman watching her douche of an ex hitting gold & getting a wonderful new wife, the mother watching her children grow up & facing the empty nest syndrome, struggling to take care of her children & her self respect at the same time & most importantly the three of them mother – daughter – son finally making it to their own destined ends, not together but happier from where they started off.
- I truly liked that conversation Mason had with his girlfriend about all of us being robots & the overuse of internet by the current generation. As I struggle on a daily basis to interact more with people directly instead of through some app the truth behind that conversation made me shiver.
- A man might be a bad husband but the same man can be a good father. This was amply proved by Mason Sr. I really liked most of his scenes with his son. Even the daughter who was a snob most of the time with nothing good to say about anything or anyone did manage to sober up a bit with him & behave well. Mason Jr. turned to his father for sound advice more often than he did to his mother & his father rarely disappointed.
- I liked Patricia Arquette & Ethan Hawke the best among them all. The children were OK. I liked Colltrane when he was a kid but the older he got the more limited his acting skills became. Lorelei Linklater was worse (that voice!!!)
What I did not like:
- 2 hours 45 min is a very very long time! When I first put it on I was actually shocked to see the time. I watched this movie over a period of three days & I think that is why I did not completely fall asleep because…
- …the movie gets extremely boring in parts.
- The message that they wanted to convey is a very common one these days. As common as the problem it covers. It may sound insensitive when I write it down here but it is a sad fact. Do we really need a movie that long on that subject?
- I would have liked to know what happened to all of Mason’s childhood friends & his step brother & step sister. How did it turn out for them with their abusive father. Did the mother rescue them or were they left to fend for themselves?
- Please someone assure me that Olivia’s next husband wasn’t going to be Mason Jr’s boss from the restaurant!
- Did Mason learn anything from all that he had experienced? I mean the movie left him at such a stage where the audience cannot be sure if he learnt anything at all. Yes, he gets a silver medal (like nine others do) & he is going to university but what about some life lessons. Does he mature & learn anything at all from the mistakes his parents made? He is constantly listening to advice but how much of that did he assimilate?
- It would have been nice if we had been provided with a timeline in the movie. Yes, the actor’s growth is visible but sometimes I like to read which year it is than just assuming.
- I guess the main attraction of the movie was that unique shooting schedule of 12 yrs. Otherwise it was a pretty average movie with some good points here & there.
It is good enough to watch it once.
I will give it a 3/5.