The central character is a young and moppy Texas boy named Mason Jr. (Ellar Coltrane). He does what every 6 or 7 year old kid would do – that’s watching his favourite cartoons, spending time playing with his best buddy and occasionally fights with his older sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater). His single mother Olivia (Patricia Arquetta) is trying to get passed from her recent divorce with Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke), decides to move on to complete her degree. The father, although is constrained by a series of odd jobs, still ensure that he has some time for his children in every other weekend. Over the course of this movie, we see the Mason Jr getting taller, deeper in voice and inflicts with complex life-thoughts; while his parents are set for a separate journey to build their own homes and careers.
Even at a lengthy 165 minutes, Boyhood is a dazzling complete life memento and an impressively realistic time capsule story that captures the every essence about growing up and about having a family. It also examines the little moments, the major events and life-changing experiences that shape and influence the millennial generation today. Richard Linklater cares a lot of the characters, often offering numerous throwbacks and references to the pop cultures of the early 21st century. With high scrutiny on the dialogues and story lines, it seems natural that throughout the space of 12 years, we see all main characters evolve into a lot of things – sensibly, responsibility, love and idealize about life. To add in more interest, Linklater adds something of his own specialty to it – a chitchat, a la the “Before” trilogy, where characters conformed into serious discussions about Facebook, contraception, Star Wars, elections and so much more.
Boyhood is shot beautifully against the background of the suburbans in Texas, with these settings offer a lot of amicable companions to the story mechanics. Ethan Hawke showcases in one of his best roles, a surprising transformation from a typical music and muscle car-obsessed dad to an an ambitious and successful one who wishes all the best for his children. In Patricia Arquetta, we see the real-life struggles of a single mom, who has a tendency to make mistakes in relationship and financial wise, certainly deserved some recognitions here. Thankfully, Ellar Coltrane is a reliable actor when it comes with the obligation to nail the whole transformation in Boyhood with believable and absorption.
Boyhood is a grand scale, large scope landmark movie that is beautifully shot, intimately narrated and brilliantly chronicled. Despite its unnecessary long running time, Boyhood contains a lot of weight and substance of its story and character building. A+
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