Boyhood – The ‘Gravity’ of 2014
Boyhood – The ‘Gravity’ of 2014
Release Date: [imdblive:date]
Runtime: [imdblive:runtime] mins
Over the last few years it seems to have become apparent that certain films are praised enormously solely due to a unique gimmick. Avatar was ‘ground-breaking’ in terms of effects, like Gravity – both, I believe to be, mind-numbingly dull and generic. This year, Boyhood fills the gap with a film that took 12 years to film – this is its gimmick. With a 100% rating on Metacritic and 99% on Rotten Tomatoes one would expect this film to be one of the best they’ve ever seen. It’s not and critics have become subsumed within this idea that if a film was created in a unique way then it must be amazing. Boyhood is overrated, just like Gravity was and is bound to sweep up awards. To this I am baffled because the acting is below par, the script is clumsy as it’s filled with repetition and uninspired plot points which meander over a boy’s life without getting deeply involved with the trouble he goes through. While the process behind making this film is staggering and must have required a lot of stamina, for me it falls short of being a good film and I don’t see the appeal.
The film is ambitious, but this ambition is one similar to that of Icarus. It’s admirable, but for me it crashed and burned upon viewing it. Never have I been in such agony watching a film as it’s painfully slow. The idea behind this film is that of character development, but very little of this takes place. Seeing a child grow up to a young adult is development, but there is no emotional development that takes place. It’s the same thing for nearly three hours, moaning, grumbling and a film crammed with awkward moments that it becomes laughable at points. The film succeeds in its first 20 minutes, establishing kids to whom we can all associate with; the childish humour is cute and appealing. But, this all descends into an unintelligent film that follows the dullest boy around for 12 years of his life, in which we meet no interesting characters – bar Ethan Hawke who is very watchable. The mother in this film, while at first is likeable, becomes incredibly annoying and feels remarkably artificial with her character developing via the multiple, failed relationships she aimlessly plunges into. If someone wants to create a film about a boy growing up and wants the film to be interesting, then surely they (the people making the film) need an interesting boy; something this film didn’t have. Mason’s a tiresome mute, who has very little character about him. Boyhood is too American. It’s clichéd America, with ‘bullies’ who are laughable and teenagers who are cringeworthy and unbelievable. The film lacks a cohesive story. The films jumps around and leaves you questioning what happens to certain people and how everyone forgets what happened previously so quickly. It’s disjointed and feels like a different film altogether at times, where actually it should all blend into one seeing as though it was filmed successively for 12 years.
It’s frustrating to see this film being praised and glorified, when there really isn’t anything to it bar an ostentatious method of producing it. It’s a gimmick that leads to a dull viewing experience. Critics are being immersed in this euphoria surrounding the film, to the extent that no one wants to criticise it. This damages the critiquing profession and is harmful to the film industry itself. Universal praise and critical acclaim for a gimmicky film is tiresome, as films with genuine prowess are overshadowed by films like Boyhood – which has style but no substance.