Saturday, August 16, 2014

Boyhood

Director: Richard Linklater
With: Ellar Cortrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater

As we all probably know by now, Richard Linklater directed yet another film that transcends the possibilities of filmmaking through Boyhood which is 12 freakin' years in the making. So impressive considering that he had projects in between and just when I thought his Before trilogy is already amazing because of how he played with time, here goes Boyhood

Boyhood follows the life of 6-year old Mason (Ellar Cortrane) as he grows to be 18. Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke play his parents and Linklater's own daughter, Lorelei, plays Sam as Mason's older sister. Twelve years with the same cast is already impressive, but the result of the whole film is even better. As you watch the film, the gimmick somehow didn't even matter that much. Linklater smartly chose to feature the ordinary days in the lives of this family instead of squeezing out the 12-year stunt by inserting jaw-dropping stories and in the end, it's much more rewarding emotionally because he made it impossible not to relate with them. 

Okay, there is 100% chance that I wouldn't be able to articulate all the reasons why I love this film or let alone explain how beautiful Boyhood is. I don't even know where to begin. I'm afraid my thoughts won't give justice to how amazing this film experience is and how much it moved me. I feel like Boyhood is a film for everyone who grew up so basically, almost everyone. LMFAO. I mean let's start with the easy and fun one, the film is nostalgia fever with all the pop references that it used -- from Dragon Ball, to Harry Potter, to Twilight, to iPods, to Lady Gaga, Aaliyah and Britney Spears. To its soundtrack that includes Coldplay, Phoenix, Foster the People, Gotye, The Flaming Lips and Family of the Year. It's our generation and it's so easy to be familiar with it. It's like a trip down to memory lane and that it's something that will truly force you to reflect and look back at your own life as you watch Mason move forward to his. And somehow, as much as this film is about Mason growing up, it also explained grownups so well through his parents.

Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke are so good in this that it would also be acceptable if they changed the title of the film to Parenthood because they're as much as stars of the film as the breakthrough star Ellar Cortrane. Both characters are far from being perfect parents but there's something about them that's very admirable. Especially Patricia Arquette's character who walked on a parade of jerks. Her scene in the end where Mason was about to move out of her apartment was extremely affecting as she's always been tough and so when she broke down and looked back to the life that she had, it's insurmountably touching. Ethan Hawke on the other hand portrayed a picture of an ideal father, at least for me. Well, he's not the most responsible father there is but his love for his children and how he communicated with them is held in great respect. Ellar Cortrane is amazing as Mason. I don't think the film would work this much if weren't for his phenomenal transformation characteristically and physically. The young Mason to me felt like my nephew (and I love my nephew so much), so when Mason grew up and experienced the ups and downs of life, I can't help but feel proud or feel sad or feel whatever according to what's happening in his life.

I've been anticipating this film for months and watching it finally with my nephew was such a prize. He wasn't able to finish the whole film though. But I've always wanted him to see this because whenever I tell him to watch the trailers and other Boyhood clips, he kept on asking me about growing up and how did Mason grow up, and how they filmed the film. It's a healthy discussion and I would love if we got to watch the whole film together because I enjoy answering his questions too. Even though it annoys me sometimes when he keeps on asking questions in almost every scene. LOL. I wanted him to see it because I thought it would be awesome for any child to see a glimpse of how people transform, or how they would change eventually through the years because of the experiences they go through. Basically the same thing why I was eager to see it except I've already gone through it but wouldn't it be awesome to watch someone literally grow up before your eyes? Mason and I didn't have similar experiences but growing up through obstacles with family, friends and oneself is something everyone would relate with. And the film made it even more possible by featuring scenes that are not necessarily groundbreaking. But instead it featured the normal living of the characters, from Mason to his sister, to his parents, to every other people that he encountered in his boyhood. That's why it's much easier to be invested in it that despite these normal day-to-day living scenes, I was glued to it. I didn't even notice the time because it's such an interesting and relatable story that I wouldn't mind seeing another three hours of it.

Who knows? Richard Linklater and Ellar Coltrane are probably filming right now for a sequel to this film which will be called 'Adulthood' or 'Manhood'. If it turns out to be true, then I'd be ecstatic but if it's not, Boyhood alone can stand on its own and I'm pretty sure this movie will also stand the test of time. Yarara