Boyhood: Movie in Review

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(Source: Boyhood movie Tumblr)

Cajisha Telusme, Staff Writer

Boyhood, directed by Golden Globe winner Richard Linklater, becomes a time capsule showcasing our not so distant past, which is understandable because it took 12 years to make and is up for multiple awards this film season.

Mason Evans Jr. (Played by Ellar Coltrane) starts off the story as a six year old boy, who is not too interested in sports and would rather watch Dragon Ball Z with his time. He wades through this child-stage with casual visitation from his father (Ethan Hawke) and a single mother (Patricia Arquette) with a few boyfriends. As the movie progresses through it’s 2 hour and 45-minute run something becomes quite clear; all the places where a shocking, turn of events would be expected just don’t happen.

It is slow-paced, not with the idea that it builds up to a climax, but with the idea that it’s a slow recount of a boy’s childhood. A childhood that, because he is twenty now, is not too faraway and foreign to us.

Growing up in the 2000’s leaves room for a few iconic songs and moments in our childhood. Without realizing it we saw the biggest growth of the internet: blogs and social media outlets sparked tremendously in user registrations, we saw the election and re-election of the first black president, and from floppy disks to flash drives to drives on Google. We’ve also seen iconic music such as Britney Spears dominating the early 2000’s, and Soulja Boy’s break out hit, “Crank That” in 2007 and Lady Gaga’s domination between 2009 and 2010. Boyhood adds these details to the film so that it can be able to showcase the changing of times casually and without being too directed. It felt extremely natural.

What make this movie so iconic is it’s use of technology, subject matter and language to present an audience with the changing generations of Mason Evans Jr.’s life, a kid who isn’t a genius nor is a slacker– He’s just a kid. A normal kid.

As a movie watcher, one must be prepared to watch Boyhood in the moment with a clear mind. From the beginning to the final moment Boyhood is the visual storytelling of a boy’s childhood. Simply put because that’s how simple it is.

This simplicity may be off-putting to some viewers. Opposing critics have argued that this movie lacks one of the key characteristics that makes a movie: A clear conflict. The movie touches on the reckless relationships of a mother, a rebellious sister, an introverted young man, and a father trying to stay in touch with his kids.  It’s hard to know what a spoiler alert is because there are no spoilers.The movie requires a viewer to be prepared to emotionally link themselves to the movies characters.

Mason’s life from first grade to freshman year in college is probably the life any of us had to or will endure and can relate to. A life with a few bumps, could be worse but definitely could be better. The final scene of the movie is cut and the credits flash while Hero by Family of the year plays in the silence.

Most people have admitted shedding tears after that moment because it ends with the abrupt simplicity of life. It just starts, plays, and ends. Everything in between is simple story telling and great, natural acting, with an outstanding, noteworthy performance from Patricia Arquette.

Boyhood is a movie that viewers either love and appreciate or hate and find unbearable.

Watch the movie and make your own decision.

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