“Boyhood,” is a unique movie. At first it does not seem like such an original plot. However, what makes it so unique is that it was filmed over the span of 12 years, with the same cast. Directed by Richard Linklater, “Boyhood,” is about a 6 year old boy named Mason, growing up and coming of age with his family. The audience has the chance to see Mason grow up to age 18. In the years in between, the audience has the chance to experience the good, the bad, and the heartbreak through Mason’s eyes.
The patience of the director isn’t the only impressive part; the cinematography and sound equally contribute to the effect of the film. People say sound and acting is what makes a movie, and sound is especially important in this movie. While Mason is younger, more hard rock and playful songs play to attribute to his youth. For example, 2 minutes into the film, Mason goes out to graffiti an underpass with his friend. As they’re riding out to the overpass, hard rock plays to accompany the nostalgic feeling of being a rambunctious child doing mischievous things.
The music played in any movie, tries to give the audience the feeling of being in a similar situation. Another example is when Mason, his mother, and sister move to Houston, Texas. We’re shown them driving in the car with all of their belongings as the sun goes down, and Mason and his sister squabble over space. At that moment Sheryl Crow’s song, “Soak Up The Sun,” plays, and could potentially tell the viewers that things will get better for their move. If any other song were playing, it might make it seem like their mother had a terrible agenda for the family.
Background music is a conveyer of feelings, but unfiltered sung music counts too. As Mason grew older, a scene with his family singing together on the porch, has an impact. The summer night gives a feeling of being together, with the people you love, and just being able to spend relaxed time with them. “Boyhood,” isn’t a silent film, and music is not the only sound. The voices and tones of the characters translates a lot to the audience as well. The character’s emotional responses tell the viewers how to feel.
Without the emotions of the cast, audiences wouldn’t be able to deduce that the first stepfather is an overly controlling man. The tones of his voice are condescending and rude to Mason’s mom. Later, we find that he is an alcoholic, and physically abusive. One day, when Mason comes home, he find his mom on the garage floor. His mother sounds panicked, and tells him that she’s okay, but he should go inside. Later, during dinner, the stepfather becomes destructive and chucks cups at his kids. The viewers would have no idea what’s going on without the dialogue.
Viewers would most likely think that she fell as she said. In “Boyhood,” there are many scenes with spoken language and music, but there were also many with just ambient noise with actions on screen. In such a dramatic movie, there are many silent scenes used to break news, or to become the central focus of a dramatic scene. For instance, an older Mason is driving with his biological father to the grandparent’s house, to celebrate Mason’s 15th birthday. His father speaks of the old car he owned, and eventually sold.
Mason becomes upset and both become silent, since his father had promised that car to him when he was younger. Silences can be used as a transitional effect as well. As they pulled up to Mason’s grandparent’s cabin, the camera shows the elderly couple with their dog, smiling and waving happily. There is no sound at all. This scene emphasizes the visual effects of what the audience is seeing. “Boyhood,” is a movie that is full of small impressions made by sound and visual effects. Through this film’s sound and visuals, it allows audiences to get feel the emotions that the character’s are experiencing.