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Growing up can be difficult at times, and it is not always as easy as people believe. Richard Linklater attempts to portray the ups and downs of the transition from childhood to adulthood in his film boyhood. His story revolves around a family with a divorced parent. Mason Evans Junior's life is chronicled in the film from the age of six to the age of eighteen when he is legally deemed a major. The film also depicts Mason's girlfriend, Samantha, with whom they grow up in the film. It deals with the constant pressures that the two put on their mother, Olivia, who is already under duress from their father.
The film scored because it stuck to the same characters from the beginning of the movie to the very end of the move. The work was done in 12 years and over 39 shooting sessions, and during the time the crew had a good chance to bond (Romei, 2014). This worked because the viewers can feel the growth through the film. They can also relate to the character all through.
Coltrane’s Mason is a boy who likes contemplating about life. He is somehow a loner who likes to understand what is going on around him. In some occasions, he looks like a spectator as much as he is in the mix of the things that are going on.
On the other hand, the senior Mason is a dedicated father but not yet cut to be a husband yet. He keeps close contact with Mason junior and his sister Samantha all through the film. The film carefully shows how he grows up from an irksome person to one responsible man. He even marries happily and becomes a proud father of a boy again.
Olivia, a young woman who has just divorced Mr. Mason is young and desires to give the best to her children without letting life pass her. She does her best to raise the children who stress her up adding to the pressures that the senior Mason exposes her to. Her story also covers a young woman who loves her children and his pursuit of happiness. She marries again, but the film leaves viewers asking themselves questions.
As much as this is one of the most notable stories in the film, the film tells the story of life. From childhood to adulthood. It covers the challenges of a girl growing up as it covers that of a boy. It also talks about parenting as an integral part of growing up. Although Mason has been away from his family for a year, he returns and keeps contact with his children every weekend trying to tell them how to go through life. His children miss his presence and the unity of their family. Somehow, the children are aware that their parents will not come back together again. They are also faced with reality of a hard life of being raised by a single mother who still cannot provide everything. Somehow instinctively Mason and Samantha know that they must make it through life.
The story is not wholly about growing up and parenting as it is also about finding the meaning of life. It shows that the challenges people go through when they try to find meaning and purpose of their life. The story is tied to the same individuals and their daily lives. It focuses on simple things that a person would do on a daily basis as they grow up. He does focus on the things that would look trivial such as parents quarrelling, Mason shouting to stop Samantha whose singing annoys him. He says that in essence, the little things in life make the largest portion of human experiences determine the kind of adults people become. It covers the story of Mason who leaves Texas to find a life in music and returns to his family. Also the life of Olivia who tries her best to enjoy life without neglecting her children.
The story reflects that people not only grow up in childhood but even when they have supposedly grown up legally, they may still be growing up. Mason senior is particularly of interest in bringing this out. He was a good father from the time the film begins to the time it ends. Though he was not yet ready to be a husband when the movie begins, he is seen taking a different position in life as the movie progresses. At the end of the film, Mason becomes a responsible father of Mason Jr. and Samantha. This is also seen in Mason Jr. when he is about to take magic mushrooms, he is seen to be detached and quite inquisitive. This reflects the fact that he is still growing up even after he has become a major. Olivia is not left out, she is also seen to pursue her happiness even into marriage, and the viewer is constantly left wondering if she would find it.
The movie covers the story of human life effectively. It speaks of the turmoil that individuals have to go through as they grow. This is for both the adults and the children who are passing through puberty into adulthood. It is also same for adults who are out to discover their true selves and find their happiness. It covers the life story of fictional characters as if the story was a continuous daily experience of real people. This follows the choice not to change the audience through the film. In summary, the film is about growing up more than it is about coming of age, and it reflects the changes that people go through as they mature.
Linklater, R. (Director). (2014). Boyhood [Motion Picture].
Romei, S. (2014, September 6th ). Richard Linklater’s masterpiece Boyhood reflects on the meaning of life. Retrieved from The Australian: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/review/richard-linklaters-masterpiece-boyhood-reflects-on-the-meaning-of-life/news-story/5a78f44786b12c48ac8de38ce4a9c4ef
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