Throughout the 104 minutes of “Barry”, I was waiting- for either some conflict, a revelation from Barack about race relations, or anything to distract me from his slow paced journey in Morningside Heights. There were a few promising moments, like an altercation with a police officer on Columbia’s campus, but these moments didn’t seem very introspective or well thought out.
Barry (Devon Terrell) and his girlfriend (Anya Taylor-Joy). Much of the movie's "conflict" surrounds the significance of interracial relationship. Photo via Netflix.
The movie is framed as a narrative of now-President Obama navigating difficult conversations about race and his black identity in a majority white school, but these moments never happened. It felt like the movie didn’t have a climax, only rising action.
And I wanted to like it. I really did. Devon Trevell, who plays Obama, is charismatic and handsome, and the cast is well done. There were scenes that were charming and entertaining, but as a passionate Obama supporter, I was hoping for a more substantive look at President Obama’s formative years.
“Barry” was cute and well intentioned, but left me feeling very disappointed.