A lot of my time is spent watching movies, and every once in a while-not too often- one sticks in my mind and I can’t stop thinking about it. I was fortunate enough to see Richard Linklater’s Boyhood Monday afternoon, and I haven’t been able to get it off my mind since. Boyhood is exactly that: it’s the story of a boy across his childhood and into adulthood, as he grows up and experiences all the things that shape him and who he is. The catch that makes it different is that this was filmed across a span of 12 years. Every year Linklater would get the same people together and film a few scenes. It sounds crazy, and maybe it was, but the result was absolutely incredible.
Boyhood is one of those movies that I wish I could experience again for the first time. As Mason grows up, you realize just how important those everyday occurrences are and how they form what you’re going to be like as a person. Things that you thought wouldn’t matter really do matter, and the big things have an even bigger impression than you thought they might have. An awesome element that Linklater included was his use of popular music to signify what time period we were watching. I thought I’d left 2006’s terrible time of Soulja Boy behind, but alas.
Most importantly about this movie was how much it made me think about my own experiences and how I could relate to the different characters across the span of the movie. I found pieces of myself in Mason, in the experiences of living with divorced parents and spending the majority of his time with a single mother who didn’t always have all the pieces together. It made me feel for the struggles my own single mother must have gone through when faced with the challenge of parenting alone. Mason’s mom makes mistakes along the way that put the entire family in jeopardy, all while trying to do the best she can for her kids. My heart tugged at the thought of my mom and the problems we faced and how we couldn’t have made it through what we did if it wasn’t for the love and support of our family and most importantly, her hard work. My mom and I don’t have a perfect relationship but she always did what she had to do to take care of me. By the end, I saw pieces of me in Mason’s mom, at her disappointment towards life in general. “I thought there’d be more,” she says. Oh, yeah, sometimes I certainly feel like that.
“You don’t want the bumpers, life doesn’t give you bumpers.” Nope, it definitely doesn’t.