Meet Barry Obama.
Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it? It’s lacking the grace and dignified majesty of his full name, we know – but thanks to Netflix’s new Barack Obama biopic we’re about to become an awful lot more familiar with America’s departing commander-in-chief.
Slated for streaming release on 16 December, Barry sees 20-year-old Aussie newcomer Devon Terrell step into shoes of Obama during his college years, beginning with the young man’s first semester in 1981 at Columbia University.
Unlike the teen privilege awarded to some before they went on to become US president (naming no names), Barack spent much of his young life overcoming hurdles on account of his skin colour – and as this first full trailer suggests, university was no exception, where obstacles ranged from rowdy classmates to racist security guards.
Want some promises of authenticity? The film’s director, Vikram Gandhi, attended Columbia himself and lived in an adjacent dorm to the one America’s first black president once occupied. He’s even claimed the stories of Obama’s university hijinks were legendary.
Forget any red cup-fueled beer-chugging and Dean-baiting bro raucousness for now, mind – with present day America bitterly divided by racial tension, this story of a young man grappling with the same issues his country is still coming to terms with 35 years on couldn’t be better timed.
Though you just know there’ll be a spin-off with Jim’s Dad.
Barry will air on Netflix from 16 December