A couple of months back, a lady walked into the store I worked at.
As far as customers go, there was nothing remarkable about her- no exotic demands were made, nor did she possess a haughty demeanor.
When she stood in front of me however, I froze.
I mumbled something, and proceeded to charge her credit card.
As the machine took its time to process the transaction, I decided I needed to speak up, or that feeling of uneasiness that had come upon me would bother me all day.
Gathering the necessary courage, I said: “What perfume do you use? It reminds me of…something.”
“Vanilla Splash”, she replied, smiling.
She wasn’t even done with her answer, and I knew.
A minute later, when she left, I hurried myself to the back of the store and started to weep.
It’s been 3 years since I last saw my girlfriend- I suppose you’d call her an ex now-; 3 years since that fragrance stopped being a constant in my life.
Yet a whiff of it had been enough to conjure a deluge of memories, some of which I thought forever forgotten, and flood me with them.
That’s how watching Boyhood felt like.
A million tiny moments like a million old photographs.
Thousands of events and non-events, marked by the people in them, the places.
Every single memory, forged into a single riveting explosion of nostalgia, like the mega bombs the characters in Mason’s (Ellar Coltrane) favorite television show, Dragon Ball Z, employ every other episode.
This is absolute cinema.
2 hours and 40 minutes of something so pure it transcends the barriers of celluloid itself, and becomes a testament of the great human spirit, like Romeo & Juliet, or the Sistine Chapel.
If the creators of those landmarks are considered immortal, then Richard Linklater is at the very least, stealing a line from the song that plays during the glorious final minutes, a hero.