Barry Review

Before he was Barack he was Barry.

A young man known as Barry attends  college in unfamiliar territory. Unaware of his destiny to becoming the President of the United States, he is faced with a number of concerns.

Devon Terrell plays an exceptional young Barack Obama, illustrating the complexity of his life back in the 80’s. Many people from diverse backgrounds find themselves having to amend their cultural names. This helps avoid the questions, and Barry is just trying to find his space, without being analysed. The film aims to highlight the identity issues, often experienced by those of mixed heritage. 

Written by Adam Mansbach and directed by Vikram Gandhi we see the shift in Barry and his campus activities, studying political science in the day and enjoying some basket ball with the locals, combined with a significant amount of cigarettes to relax  in the evening. The identity struggle is well depicted and the movie includes complexities often embedded in race relations. Is he black or white? Is he black and white? Does he really have to choose? Or does it just come naturally? These questions are thoughts in Barry’s mind. Gandhi delivers this through the use of montages and minimal dialogue.

We see the issues he has with is father and his desire to know him and his family in Africa yet not a clue where to begin. We get an insight into his awkward relationship with his mother and girlfriend (not Michelle)

Mansbach gives us a glimpse into the racism in America with Barry constantly being questioned by on campus security and often forced to show his ID. We learn of the challenges he faces and this film is a great insight into a young Barack Obama life. Check out Barry on Netflix now. It’s a #CiciMustSee for sure.

Director Vikram Gandhi

Writer Adam Mansbach

Stars Devon Terrell, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jason Mitchell, Ellar Coltrane, Jenna Elfman

Running Time 1h 44m
Genre Biography, Drama


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