Starring Devon Terrell, Anya Taylor Joy and directed by Vikram Gandhi, Barry is the latest Barack Obama biopic from Netflix. This time the focus is on his time in New York City as a young college student, the period that helped shape the future president of the United States…
Also starring jason Mitchell, Ashley Judd and Ellar Coltrane, I confess that it took me a few moments to realise why a film about Barack Obama, the current president of the United States is called Barry. Clearly it must be what his friends call(ed) him.I blame my slow brain on my association of the president with cool whereas I definitlry don’t have the same association with the name Barry. (no offence to all the lovely Barry’s of the world, of course).
I still haven’t watched Southside With You, the other Barack Obama biopic released earlier this year. But I am looking forward to comparing it with the new ‘college years edition’.
Incase you weren’t already sure of what Richard Linklater’s Oscar winning film is about, It’s all in the title. To clarify, the audience is essentially invited to witness the life of an American family over 12 years and through the eyes of a young boy.
The story begins from childhood and continues to the point said boy, Mason – played by Ellar Coltrane, becomes a college student. Unsurprisingly, the film is nearly 3 hours long. The only time the length bothered me was within the first 30 minutes – the point after which things did become more interesting.
As a result of the movie being filmed over the extended period of 12 years and with the same actors, the technical and narrative achievement is notable. Additionally, the profound sense of realism – the kind not often found on screen is one of the key reasons Boyhood is quite celebrated.
What is also refreshing about Linklater’s movie and style is the nuanced performances. There is no over explanation of everything. The audience is trusted to think and reach their own conclusions.
What I enjoyed most about Boyhood is the relationship the two main siblings have with their parents, particularly Mason’s interactions with his father (Ethan Hawke). The conversations they have and the father’s responses are just the kind of thing one would hope for.
Watch it because even though the title is Boyhood, the film also has something to say about motherhood, fatherhood, family and life in general.