3 Reasons why ‘Boyhood’ PISSED me off (A LOT)

It is no surprise that a film that took 12 years in the making, earnt many critics praises and won many awards would definitely peak my interest slightly to say the least. Now, this isn’t going to be a rant or anything like that. This is me trying to explain it to you in the best possible way, why I don’t think the movie is all that great. The movie, which follows a young boy’s life between the ages of 6 and 18. I was just turning 18 at the time of the film’s release, and was excited to see it.

Hmmmmm...
Hmmmmm…

Why? You may ask. Why did this movie piss me off?

Well, I thought this movie would at least show some relatability. I thought that I would get a film that would show the hardships of growing up, the difficulties of maturing, the difficulties of adjusting, going through different phases in life, stuff like that, you know. But what I got was a film that had almost none of what I just mentioned. Even when it tried to, it just didn’t strike that chord with me, where I felt “Hey, I have been there before, I know what that’s like”.

Now you may be thinking that I just wanted this film to be relatable on every level or that I wanted a biography of my own life. Let me clarify, I don’t want that. Recently in my previous article, I mentioned how The Perks of Being a Wallflower struck a chord with me. I mentioned how I was able to relate to it even though the problems that the main characters face are nothing like my own. What I am getting at is that when you’re making a coming-of-age film, the very least that you can do is make it relatable. Now let me explain a little more (spoilers for Boyhood follow) on why this film pissed me off by giving you three reasons.

1) The Main Character

I hated him...there, I said it
I hated him…there, I said it

It’s definitely no surprise that if you have read the first 3 paragraphs that Ellar Coltrane’s performance was my least favourite part of the film, which unfortunately damaged the entire movie for me. His performance just doesn’t give the emotional impact that it should. I am still not sure whether it is the writing or the performance or both. But I can tell you this much, he sucked. I mean, seriously, here are the hardships and things that his character faces or does throughout the entire film or at least, this is what I think.

• Getting his hair shaved off his head.

• Dealing with his 2 stepfathers (1 of which was serious, I’ll admit)

• Dealing with his first rejection in high school

• Introduction to alcohol and marijuana (which comes out of nowhere)

• Quitting facebook

• Getting into an argument over his dad for not giving him the car he wanted

That’s pretty much it. I am not kidding. What bothers me really is that all these so-called problems (and some of them are hardships that we all go through, no doubt) are nowhere near or relatable to what many of us have faced (more on that later).

2) The Movie had weird cuts

Let me explain
Let me explain

I really don’t know why films do this, although this is a relatively minor problem. The fact that the film cuts to a completely different setting without ever actually telling you what happened. I am not asking for an actual explanation, but at the very least, I would like to know what actually happened.

Let me take the example of the scene where Olivia (the mother) meets a veteran. The scene automatically cuts to him living in their house. Now, you can say that this film is implying that they are living together, or he is a student who is just living in their house because he doesn’t have a place to stay, or he may have grown a liking towards the family, anything. But you are supposed to figure out that they got married.

Thank you
Thank you

Another example, is the scene where the veteran (who is now married to Olivia) argues with Mason for coming back home late. The scene just cuts to the same house without him. Does this mean that got divorced? If so, why? Did it just happen because he argued with her child? The scolding was relevant because the streets are not safe at night, and there was a genuine reason behind that scolding. So why? It’s never ever explained. In fact, it was this guy, the veteran who gifted Mason a camera, which lead to his interest in Photography. Why would Mason hate this guy over something like this? He was not entirely possessive, he wasn’t a jackass and he scolded him for the right reason. So why?

3) It’s just not relatable

He is growing physically....I doubt he is mentally
He is growing physically….I doubt he is mentally

Being ragged (verbally or physically) or getting in to a fight, dealing with your exams, trying to find out what you want to do in life or even trying to decide what you want for breakfast. These are things that we relate to. These are situations I would like to see in a film that tries to encompass Boyhood, I mean that IS the film’s title after all. Our main character goes through nothing like that.

When Ellar Coltrane is acting out the final scene, where his character stands in front of his mother, who breaks down admitting that she thought there would be more to life. Do you know what he does? Nothing… He just stands there like an idle duckling, waiting to go to college. I mean, this is his mother, the woman who single-handedly raised him with almost no support from anyone else. At the very least, you could hug her, comfort her, she is your mother after all. Sure, you may consider me sappy, but in a scene like this, what I am saying would be totally justified, because of the reasons I mentioned above. Here is the video, just look at Ellar Coltrane….NO EXPRESSIONS AT ALL.

The fact that Patricia Arquette (who was amazing in the movie) was the only character in the entire film I related to in a film called Boyhood, is saying something. She goes through way more hardships than her son does. She needs to earn money on her own. She needs to raise the kids on her own. She goes to college to get a degree while she has children to raise. This is something that an audience can relate to, not exactly with the situation, but with the feeling that, ‘yeah I know what it’s like when the odds are against you’.

Look, I did not hate this movie, I liked it, and this movie is good. I just don’t think it is a masterpiece that the critics claimed it to be or worthy of Best Picture nominations. It’s a film that is experimental and I really admire it for that (I mean, waiting for 12 years to make and release a movie is not easy). But for a film that is supposed to tell a story about a boy growing up, it just does not work. The film works where I didn’t think it would, Patricia Arquette’s performance as a single mother and her story was brilliant. The directing, ambition and sheer scope is brilliant. But unfortunately, it failed where I thought it should have succeeded.

This is just my opinion, and for all I know, it’s TRASH. But let me ask you guys,

What did you think about Boyhood after seeing it?

  • You
    It was good, but even I thought it was over rated
  • 0
    I hated it
  • 0
    It is an unquestionable masterpiece
  • I want to write my own post about it

3 thoughts on “3 Reasons why ‘Boyhood’ PISSED me off (A LOT)

  1. Really interesting piece, nice to hear someone else who didnt love the film. Very thoughtful reasoning as too why. I must say I really didnt like this film (although visually it is pretty beautiful) and thought Arquette was good but nothing amazing. My least favourite part was definitely his sister, who was infuriating. Anyway, would love for you to read my post about Boyhood https://slatethesilverscreen.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/about-a-boyhood-how-i-learned-to-have-an-irrational-dislike-for-one-mans-ridiculous-vision/

    something that can really only be described as a rant!

    • I agree with you, the sister pissed me off a lot as well, but she wasn’t in the movie much…..which is why I did not bring it up in my article….as for your article….Kudos…I loved it as well….I completely agree with your rant on the 12 YEARS and telling a story devoid of a story part….but I honestly do feel that Patricia Arquette was amazing….Regardless, great article and great reasoning

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