I saw Richard Linklater’s Boyhood at a local art cinema last week. You might remember the trailer I posted awhile back. The movie is long, about 2 hours and 44 minutes, but it’s completely worth it. In fact, I wasn’t ready for it to be over!
There’s not really a traditional plot description to share. Sure, some things happen, but the gist of the story is how a family of four changes over twelve years. For me, watching the same actors portray the characters over a decade of real time made the experience completely different than if done in the traditional way. That is, using different children to play the same characters at different ages. I didn’t have to extend my imagination in that way we’ve all grown accustomed to, so it made the film feel all the more real.
That experiment aside, Boyhood is a masterclass in subtlely. The trend as of late, in both TV and film, is to be bold and gritty. That approach has its place, but I enjoyed Linklater’s focus on the little things. It allowed me to reflect on the main point of the film - life. There were no flashy distractions. In fact, I kept waiting for something big to happen. It made me very aware of how accustomed we’ve all become to that style.
When the credits rolled, my friend commented that she felt like she’d just watched her own childhood. Being in our early 20s, it was easy to relate to the cultural milestones brought up during the main character’s adolescence. But I think there’s something for everyone. The kids, the parents, the periphery characters, they all have a journey over those twelve years covered in Boyhood. It’s worth it to take 2 hours and 44 minutes out of yours to see this film.