Barbie Review: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ : One of the most highly anticipated movies of the year has arrived. Greta Gerwig’s Barbie has been on everyone’s watchlist since its development years prior, and it’s safe to say it’s made more than a splash. With its larger-than-life production design, incredible wardrobe, and stellar cast, Barbie is a story about self-acceptance, identity, and so much more. Wrapped in a musical comedy mixed with realistic drama, it’s ambitious and one of the year’s best movies.
Warning: Minor spoilers ahead.
This Barbie Thinks About Death
Barbie is fun and humorous for the most part, but Gerwig and co. are no strangers to giving ideas deep meanings. Beginning with a tour of Barbieland, we see all the dreamhouses, the beach, and the Barbies (and Ken) which fill them. Typical Barbie (Margot Robbie) shows us her day-day; getting up, making breakfast, and driving across the land while greeting everyone in the process, including Ken (Ryan Gosling), whose sole purpose is to be recognized by her.
Robbie and Gosling are standouts in their respective roles, bounce off each other naturally and portray the spirit of Barbie and Ken. However, they’re not exactly a couple, but Ken’s existence depends on Barbie’s acknowledgments. He competes with his rival Ken (Simu Liu), asking her out, impressing her, etc…
All seems normal in Barbieland, until Barbie herself begins to have an existential crisis and it’s also the exact moment you’re reminded it’s a Greta Gerwig film. The inciting incident leads her to visit “weird Barbie” (Kate McKinnon), who tells her to heal, she must travel to the real world to find her owner who may be mistreating her, causing the crisis in the first place. Not only that but to help her discover who she is.
Finding Your Purpose
Identity is a question not only for Barbie but Ken too, he sneaks into her car and comes along for the ride. As the two travel to Los Angeles, they soon realize how different our world is to them. It’s less flashy, most industries are male-dominated and humans themselves are quite imperfect. The opposite of where they come from. That’s where the story progresses into its true meaning.
Barbie deals with the unrealistic comparison little girls make to her. The self-esteem issues they can develop at a young age and the pressure that comes with that. The film deals with a handful of realistic problems women face every day, and the standards they must live up to. Ken becomes under the influence of toxic masculinity and the normalcy of it all compared to how the men are in Barbieland. Their true journeys begin from there, upping the stakes while keeping the comedy balanced.
The Verdict – Barbie Review
Barbie makes you believe in its hype, portraying the trials and glory we as humans face in our real world. What it means to be able to be who you really are; to be flawed, to be troubled, to be human. To choose your destiny and to truly live the way you want to, with the limited amount of time we have.