So finally Boyhood has been released in the UK. The wait for this film has seemed one of the longest and especially the two weeks in between its release in other parts of the world and its release in the UK. This film has been hyped to levels similar to that of Gravity and I feel once again this has had a detrimental effect on my viewing experience.
However, I just have to start by commenting on just what an incredible idea this film is. It is quite astounding when you really sit back and take it in. Boyhood has been in the making for 12 years, 12 years! The sheer stamina of those involved must be praised as I can imagine at times it would have become frustrating working so long and hard and seeing no fruits for your labour, although the work has paid off now and I am sure that those involved are so proud of what has been achieved here. The continuity resulting from using the same cast over the 12 years was so great and not once did I doubt the reality of this family or the relationships on show. The entire cast did a fantastic job and they portrayed so many different emotions throughout this 12 years, it was pretty cool getting to journey with them.
Unfortunately though, exactly the same as Gravity, for me as a result of the ridiculous hype I have to admit that I was underwhelmed. I was excited for this film and I did expect to love it, but I just didn’t. Now don’t get me wrong I can appreciate Boyhood for what it is and I am in no way saying that this isn’t a massive achievement for film but it just didn’t blow me away. I thought that I was going to be emotionally involved for the majority of the film however emotions were really only drawn out of me on a couple of occasions. Now it was done well on those few occasions but I was just expecting it to be more consistent. I also felt that there were times in the film that we didn’t see enough of, as there was so much featured over the 12 years it felt that stages of Mason’s life were skimmed over whereas I would have liked to pause and focus on some more deeply. Maybe I expected too much though, I need to learn that lesson. That would be my advice to anyone else, don’t enter into the hype – as much fun as it can be all it does is raise your expectations to ridiculous levels. Anyway enough of that because even though I was underwhelmed there was so much about this movie that I did enjoy.
Richard Linklater (Director) was so clever in his use of popular culture from over the years. A smile was brought to my face almost instantaneously as I saw Mason watching Dragon Ball Z. The accompanying soundtrack had a similar effect getting my feet taping at several moments in the movie. This was one of the most enjoyable aspects of the film and it fitted in so well to the scenes, it was brilliantly handled and added a lot to Boyhood. Despite traveling with Mason and his family for 12 years when the film came to an end I found myself wanting to know what was next for him. I wanted to continue traveling with them all despite already having watched them for 2 hours and 45 minutes, this tells me that Linklater has done a lot right. He allows the viewers to become attached to this family and care for them, so I doubt that anyone would refuse the chance to see the rest of this story. It ended so subtly and I loved how Mason looked directly into the camera right at the end.
So in my honest opinion despite just how much I wanted to love this film I was underwhelmed, however this in no way takes away from what an achievement this film is. Boyhood is a film that I will be buying and watching again I just hope that I will be able to enter into it just as much as everyone else has done that second time round.
BIGGEST FLAW – At some stages I wanted more depth
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Filming over 12 years, still don’t think it has sunk in what an achievement that is!
Rating – 7.5/10