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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

‘Boyhood’ brings back childhood

A young boy with calm eyes stares up at the sky while he sits by himself in the back of a rather wooden, old-fashioned house. While watching the other neighborhood children wrestle in the mud, he overhears his parents arguing about their marriage. Just hours later, the same boy, now with thickened brows, broad shoulders and a slender jaw is leaving his now stable home environment and heading off to college.

"Boyhood," directed by Richard Linklater, is a coming-of-age film that tells the story of a child named Mason Evans, played by actor Ellar Coltrane, who literally matures in front of the audience's eyes. The film touches upon all sorts of adolescent challenges, including loss, peer pressure and bullying.

But what makes this film different is that the actors filmed segments over multiple years . The director followed Mason for 12 years. There is no intention in the showing of great action or a climax. The movie simply allows viewers to observe the daily life and maturation of Mason and his family as he grows up.

Throughout his adolescence, Mason experiences real, honest human experiences, such as moving from different schools and even changing families and lifestyles as he grows up. He also watches his mom go through three divorces and questions his sole purpose in life.

Linklater incorporates general problems that most young people face throughout the steps to adulthood in Mason’s life. These include peer pressure, bullying and family issues.

As the film follows Mason, a boy with an imperfect and broken life, there is a sense of understanding and shared emotion between Mason and the audience, allowing viewers to reflect upon their own experiences.

Throughout the 12 filmed years of Mason’s life, Linklater also integrates the constant change of mood through his choice of music. These songs, which are mainly alternative and indie rock, are not only appropriate choices for the scenes, but also give a feel for the relationships played out.

Music styles from the last decade remind the audience that the movie was filmed over a long period of time, with hits from the 2000s being played at parties and popping up in random conversation.

The entire soundtrack is suitable to show the development of a child, starting with the song “Summer Noon” by Tweedy, which suggests the innocent and carefree feelings of young children and ending with “Deep Blue” by Arcade Fire, which adds a sense of nostalgia to the film.

Of course, what sets “Boyhood” apart other films is its the unique approach. The process of continuously filming a group of actors for several years is time and money consuming, but the final product is impressive.Though the movie is highly emotional and touching, it lasts for almost three hours and may be too tedious for some to watch all at once. But with its groundbreaking approach, “Boyhood” creates situations younger viewers will easily relate to and brings back memories for the older generations and is well worth seeing in theaters or on DVD.

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