Barbie brings the fantastic plastic icon to life.
The highly anticipated “Barbie” movie will be released on July 21st and will face off against Oppenheimer. Written and directed by Oscar-nominated Greta Gerwig, this live-action film is about the plastic icon. Gerwig brings together an incredible ensemble led by Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as the charming Ken. Joining them are America Ferrera, Michael Cera, Ariana Greenblatt, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman, and Will Ferrell. Ana Cruz Kayne, Emma Mackey, Hari Nef, Alexandra Shipp, Kingsley Ben-Adir, and Simu Liu.
To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you’re a Ken.
Margot Robbie is the perfect Barbie as she plays the iconic doll beloved by millions worldwide that has a rich and fascinating history. Robbie’s performance was exceptional and she truly embodied the role. Ryan Gosling played Ken and he was outstanding as he portrayed the boyfriend Barbie never needed, going off the rails in the process. He stole the spotlight from everyone else and I wish we had seen more of him. Kate McKinnon’s portrayal of the “weird” Barbie was another standout performance. This character was one of the dolls everyone had, that went through multiple haircuts and markers on the face, making her relatable to many. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast didn’t quite measure up and seemed to be there just to collect a paycheck.
I enjoyed seeing Rhea Perlman play Ruth Handler, the inventor of Barbie, in the movie. The film touches on significant themes that remain relevant today, just as they were when Barbie was first introduced in 1959. It tackles important issues like female empowerment, breaking down gender stereotypes, and encouraging young girls to aspire to great things. The movie doesn’t shy away from addressing past controversies and criticisms directed at Barbie and Mattel. In the end, it delivers a strong message.
I was disappointed with the movie for a few reasons.
It felt like it was trying to be multiple movies at once, and the music didn’t always match Barbie’s style. Some scenes felt more like they belonged in a Broadway show or a Wes Anderson film. It seemed like the movie was trying too hard to be clever and ended up feeling like an expensive independent film. The director’s choices felt a bit self-centered, and it was obvious that this was their first attempt at making a widely appealing movie. I grew weary midway through the film while trying to decide whether it was the best way to bring Barbie to the big screen.
I give Barbie 3.5 out of 5 stars. Although not exactly what I had anticipated, it effectively conveyed the importance of adapting to evolving societal values and norms and exploring and embracing one’s individuality. However, I am not sure who the target audience is, but I would not recommend it for children under 13.