Boyhood by Kirsty Walkington

Described as ‘groundbreaking’, ‘astonishing’ and ‘a coming-of-age film unlike any other’. In 2014, Richard Linklater’s 12 year project finally made it to the big screen. What a journey? A believable and honest depiction of boyhood from five to eighteen years of age.

Richard Linklater is a creator. A craftsman. His commitment to a project lasting over a decade allowed him to paint something that was truly extraordinary and truly ordinary, all at the same time.

Take a trip through the life of Mason, a young boy, simply growing up. Dealing with his parents divorce, his trouble-making older sister and the blossom of young romance. The film honours small moments in life that some might deem trivial and unimportant, avoiding the generic conventions of plot.

The writing is captivating yet natural, reminiscent of some of Linklater’s other work perhaps. The words derive from a place of true passion for the story. I became so invested in Linklater’s characters. The menial sibling rivalries and routine disputes of parents became not only hugely relevant, but also meaningful on a personal surface. I could relate to these characters, as most probably would.

While the spirit of boyhood thrives, the development of important female roles flourishes as the story progresses, somewhat of a rarity in contemporary film. The women are embellished and imperative to the story, thus creating a family. A real family. Bonds are formed and broken, challenges arise and a boy grows up.

It’s innovative. It’s inspiring. It’s ambitious. And it works.

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