The film's cast includes Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane, and Lorelei Linklater, and depicts a young boy in Texas dealing with the divorce of his parents and his journey into adulthood. Let me start off by saying that there is nothing that can take away from this film. The fact is, Boyhood is deserving of a lot of praise, simply because the immaculate amount of devotion and dedication that had to have went into creating it. The acting is commendable, with Ethan Hawke bringing the best performance out of the bunch. In-fact, I remember my friend making the joke that it'd have been more entertaining to simply be watching a film about Ethan Hawke. The acting of Ellar Coltrane is also very intriguing and, if nothing else, there's some novelty behind seeing him go from a small child to an adult.
There is a lot of stuff that I like about Boyhood. For starters, I liked the dynamic between the parents and the realism that was brought with it. For example, on one-hand, I found myself liking Ethan's character more than Patricia's character, but at the same time, it's tricky. The father seems more likable but he's the one that has been allotted the means to be more irresponsible, and from certain subtleties in the film, it looks like he has taken advantage of it. Meanwhile, the mother continues to make one mistake after the next. I mean, it's easy to hate the character for putting herself into one bad relationship after the next, but at the same time, it always seems like she is looking out for her kids, protecting them, and carrying a motherly devotion that knows no bound or extent. There is a certain amount of depth in that which is very difficult to come by.
The film's main objective seems to be realism, and if you look at it by those parameters and nothing else, Boyhood is a terrific film. In the same breath, I found myself believing that the all-out spectacle of it all was more enticing than the film itself. I know, I know, and make no mistake about it, I was enthralled with the film during some circumstances, but I never really found myself overtly immersed or enriched by the narrative themes, or chemistry between the characters. I never found myself really relating to, or being emotionally captured by Boyhood.
What I felt like, more than anything, is that it was a chunk cut from a child's life and pasted on the screen and done with proficient directing and capable actors. The film was done well, and for that, we should rejoice because it succeeded at accomplishing what it was meant to accomplish. Whether or not that is a high-art film of immense quality will vary from viewer to viewer. As I've said, I liked Ethan Hawke more than anybody else in this film, but I found myself not as amazed with Ellar Coltrane. It isn't the actor, as he certainly does well with the role, but I never really felt anything for the character. I suppose that's a little bit of the spectacle of it all though, isn't it? The film isn't meant to feel like it's a bunch of characters and it isn't meant to have a conventional narrative with a singular message wrapping it up in a neat-and-shiny packaging that offers closure and satisfaction, but at the same time, that's why I find myself thinking once again that the spectacle of it all is more of a driving force than the actual film.
I would definitely recommend it for anyone though, even if you're on the fence, the fact that so many folk absolutely love it means that I could easily be one of the 'odd-balls' that only likes it, but at the very least, I'd recommend it for the effort.
Thanks for reading...