By: Vivien Pong
Boyhood was filmed over the span of 12 years, same cast, same crew. Director and screenwriter Richard Linklater started the project in 2002, and continuously filmed and wrote the script over the span of 12 years. Boyhood is definitely the most unique film conceptually I have seen so far this year. However, at a certain point in the film, around the 2 hour mark of its’ nearly 3 hour running time, Boyhood seems to plateau, and then trail off into a ending.
The acting is, for lack of a better word, nice. It is not especially fantastic, or compelling, but it is believable and natural. Around the time Mason Jr. goes off to college, in the film it is 2012, all the characters seem to sort of run out of steam. It is understood that this is a pivotal moment in Mason Jr.’s life, as well as for his sister and mother. However, everyone seems tired and burnt out, almost as if they are anticipating that the film is coming to a close soon. The ending itself was not as joyous and free as it could have been, ending with the line “It’s always right now”, a line that should evoke feelings of hope and excitement for the future and what lies ahead. Instead, it feels a little dull.
Boyhood has it’s weak points, but it is definitely worth seeing. The concept alone is interesting enough to garner attention and Linklater did an admirable job directing such a large and complicated project. Boyhood could have been a cheesy coming-of-age story with an uplifting soundtrack and lots of cute little moments. Instead, it paints a very realistic portrait of what life is really like, teenage acne and all. Unintended comic relief comes in the form of a healthy dose of nostalgia via the many dated video game consoles, toys (remember Tamagotchi pets?), and television shows. Boyhood is a well directed view of, well, boyhood, and all the experiences that come along with it.