Boyhood: A film well done to fit a concept

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Boyhood: A film well done to fit a concept

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The coming-of-age drama “Boyhood” depicts the life of a young boy who goes through the many trials and difficulties of life his mother has caused. Having no scripted plot, the movie follows the life of Mason (portrayed by Ellar Coltrane) from age six to his freshman year of college.

At the beginning of the film, we are introduced to Mason as a six-year-old, who alternatively lives with his divorced parents and older sister. Seemingly innocent at first, as the film progresses, we begin to witness the more severe issues he and his family endure.

Throughout the movie, the film switches between Mason’s visits with his mother (Patricia Arquette) and father (Ethan Hawke). The contrasts between his parents’ lives are so great they seem to be parallel universes.

Living with his mother, Mason faces financial difficulties and abuse of her many spouses. However, Mason seems to enjoy the weekends and summer breaks he spends with his father, who, unlike his mother, lives a free, bohemian lifestyle.

Until his late junior high years, Mason is mainly shown from an objective point of view. This is where the movie begins to reveal the inner thoughts and emotions of Mason, along with his peer interactions as he progresses through years of adolescence.

During these years, we find that Mason is a rather pessimistic, average teenager who closes himself off from his peers. As he continues to grow, Mason is met with the challenges of having a job and being in a relationship.

The movie ends with Mason moving off to college at the age of 18, starting a new life for himself.

The movie’s biggest attraction was its 12-year filming duration, allowing the actors grow and evolve before viewers’ eyes. At first glance, this seemed to be just a novelty that would turn a what-would-be mediocre film to major box office success.

However, we see the evolution of not only the actors portraying the characters, but also the setting, social trends and cinematography as they evolve through our eyes in an almost 3 hour film. The nostalgic references presented also really adds to the relatability of the film.

My main complaint for the film is that we only get to see Mason from a third person point of view while he faces some of his most traumatic experiences. If  viewers were given a better insight as to what was going inside young Mason’s head, the character would be more vulnerable and enticing.

As for the the soundtrack, one could compare it to your dad’s old iPod on shuffle. The songs alternate from Paul McCartney’s “Band On the Run” to Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know”. The soundtrack doesn’t flow well and I expect to see it for $6.99 on iTunes any day now.

The film has gained tremendous popularity since its release in the summer of last year. It has received a Golden Globe and British Academy Film Award for best film. From the Oscars, “Boyhood” walked away with multiple nominations and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (which went to Patricia Arquette.)

Overall, it’s a movie that fits the long-term filming concept well. The scenarios and characters were real enough to draw me into the film and the effect of the 12-year evolution is the definitive touch to this movie. It’s definitely worth a watch.