By Johnny Flores Jr.
Filmed over the course of 12 years and utilizing the same cast, director Richard Linklater’s movie “Boyhood” has finally arrived and it does not disappoint.
The movie takes the audience on a captivating journey through the eyes of the main character, Mason (Ellar Coltrane), from his boyhood into adulthood. Alongside Coltrane, Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette star as Mason’s parents with Lorelei Linklater featured as Mason’s sister, Samantha.
As we journey with Mason, we experience key moments in his life, such as moving from house to house and constantly transferring schools. Linklater relies on the audience to experience these moments for themselves rather than overdramatizing his characters. Consequently, some critics claim that the lack of emotion makes the characters dull, but instead this strategy illustrates Linklater’s innovation by allowing the audience to determine their own reaction to the events in Mason’s life.
Similarly, Linklater’s music selection is effective. The soundtrack features popular songs from Mason’s life to mark his age and the year in which certain plot points occur. The audience knows they are in 2000 as Coldplay’s “Yellow” streams through the speakers while Soulja Boy’s “Crank That” marks the year 2007 in which Mason continues his journey through middle school.
While “Boyhood” is a fantastic drama and one of the year’s best films, it is not without error. One of the biggest faults lies with the character of Olivia, played by Arquette. She is a heavily flawed character and her story arcs never come full circle, which is a substantial drawback considering Arquette’s character is prominent in the film.
Just as when Mason’s college friend advises him to let the moment seize him in the film’s final moments, I advise that you see “Boyhood” and let the experience seize you.