Boyhood – This One’s for Richard Linklater
I played a word association game in my head. I said “summer movie” and a voice inside my head answered “Boyhood.” I associated Boyhood with summer, may be because I watched the movie in summer, or maybe because the movie’s poster is etched in my mind –
I look at it, and I wish to lie there in that same green grass and just look at the clouds passing by, weaving infinite thoughts in my mind. At that moment, being there and yet being nowhere. This trance can take over one’s mind only in summers, there is no other season that can do that.
Boyhood is an ambitious project of writer/director Richard Linklater. Probably the more appropriate phrase would be to call it “overly ambitious.” The movie was filmed over a span of 12 years (from 2002 to 2013) to depict a boy growing up in real time. Linklater started working over the loosely scripted film with six-year-old Mason as the protagonist. The movie was not shot all at once; but for a couple of months every year where the crew came together and shoot the movie. This went on for 12 years, from the time the Mason was in first grade till the time he was done with 12th grade and had moved to college. You see an adorable child growing up to be an uncertain adolescent growing up to be a bony man. You see his body lengthening, you hear his voice deepening.
All through the movie, there isn’t anything extra ordinary happening, there is no big climax. The movie keeps going on, gradually pulling you along with it. Before you know it, you are already part of Mason’s life, cheering for him or advising him to run away from an unpleasant situation. It is beyond my understanding how a movie can be uneventful and yet thought provoking at the same time.
The character of Mason is another wonder. He is the boy who is detached from the word around him. He is always aloof and I wondered if he will ever fit anywhere. He doesn’t really. And yet, he is fine in his own way.
Watching the movie felt like my own life unfolding in front of me – the naïve that I was, the reckless I have been, the lessons I did not learn – always thinking that I would not amount to a thing when I grow up – but at the end turning out just alright.
For me, the movie is an audacious, stunning experiment and epic project. As Liam Lacey in The Globe and Mail points out,
“It’s like a time-lapse photo of an expanding consciousness.”
Take a look at this trailer and tell me that you don’t like it –
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