Sunday, October 12, 2014

Film: Boyhood (2014), Written and Directed by Richard Linklater

The film is a typical Linklater project -- sensitive, over verbose, overwhelming with dialog, and laden with banality philosophical conversations. But this is how people articulate their lives and human self-insight always touches on the banal.
I loved the film and its lighthearted but also melancholic message that "growing up" is actually the content of one's life. The main character's parents were growing up together with their son and their life was as confused at the end as it was in the beginning. Going off to college does not put an end to Mason's "boyhood" as he was well aware. It is just a "next step" in his life as it is in his mother's life - only marking different stages. For the mother it is the realization that there might be less "next steps" left.

The fact that the film was shot over a period of 12 years with the same cast and we see the physical change the characters go through - the phases of "mutation" from cute, through puberty-ugly, to weird and uniquely beautiful - is crucial for the message of the film. The gradual building of one's individuality, the formation of self, illustrated by physical change, lends truth to the film and makes acceptance of its philosophy on a visceral level.

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