By Marcus Zizzou
High on my can’t wait to see list Richard Linklater BOYHOOD arrived in the cinemas with stunning reviews, and as I settled down to see it my expectations were very high and why not? The recently third instalment of the ‘Before series was such a success. So afterwards why did I leave feeling I had seen a decent picture but no masterpiece. With a fair number of shoddy moments and scenes that bothered me.
1. Missed opportunity – Kenneth Turan’s(L.A TIMES,See link below for full article) quote ‘at best , ok, a film whose animating Idea is more interesting than its actual satisfactions’. I totally agree
2. The film felt very surface level, skirting over many of the
characters and age changes that felt bolted together
3. There are no iconic characters, no Jessie, Celine, Wiley Wiggins or even a Wooderson.
4. The children in places talked unnaturally and felt that the speeches were scripted and read out as so. My children certainly don’t talk in that way and that put me out of the room, it hasn’t got that Stand by me back and forth, or the Max Records in Where the Wild Things Are.
5. Patricia Arquette really struggled in the first half of the film in my opinion, maybe she didn’t have the right material?
6. A major problem for me was the first stepdad he was ridiculously over the top and caricatured, he had no character arc. Totally unbelievable.
7. I frequently have leaky tear ducts but nothing here, the cobbled together scenes left me emotionless to the ending.
8. I was hoping that Linklater was hoping to give us some memorable scenes of the passing of youth, but not much stood out and there were a couple of poor ones including a clumsy peer pressure sketch and an awful golf segment.
9. For a 165 minute movie the ending seemed very rushed, the graduation of Mason and the climax of the film felt premature.
It seems like I am hammering Boyhood but I enjoyed it, the time passed quickly but they could have spent more time with the family members. Maybe I was expecting too much, it was no Wonder Years, Mason did not have the charm of Kevin. Also was no Tree of Life as it has been compared. A water down Hollywood mainstream version maybe. But Malik’s deft touch with father and son set pieces is by far superior in my eyes. Boyhood was worth the watch for sure but the height was not met.