Barbie is an entertaining satire made for everyone
By Maggie Ma
Probably no one thought that you may walk out of the theater crying after seeing a Barbie movie. And that was what happened to me. The highly anticipated Barbie movie released on July 21st directed by Greta Gerwig now got 88% recommendation from media on Rotten Tomato. It has eye-catching cast, costumes and dreamy pink Barbie land but it’s not just a comedy, it’s also a coming-of-age film with deep observation and sharp discussion of gender roles and self-love. Audiences will find it entertaining but as the same time, there are many moments will hit you hard especially if you are a woman.
Margot Robbie plays Stereotypical Barbie, one of the Barbies living in dreamy Barbie land . She had the best day everyday but one day she suddenly started having an existential crisis. Despite her wonderful, unchanging life, Barbie has been plagued by thoughts of death, a sense of sadness, and flat feet! With the help of Weird Barbie (Kate McKinnon), she discovers these are caused by her real-world owner’s own sadness. To fix it, Barbie must go to the real world, find her owner, and help her.
She’s companied by Ken (Ryan Gosling), who is desperate to prove he’s more than just Ken. But when they got to Los Angeles, they are shocked by how different the real world comparing to Barbie land. Women are not always young, respected and happy in real world. Barbie thought she was a role model, but even the young girls hate her. When she finds her owner, Gloria (America Ferrera) and her daughter Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt), Barbie is shattered to learn that the real world is completely opposite of what she thought it is.
Meanwhile, Ken has the inverse experience. In the real world, he saw men are respected and listened to. And he quickly learnt about something called the “patriarchy” including showing masculism, riding a horses, demanding services, worship people like Rocky(The boxer) . Ken decided to bring “patriarchy” back to Barbie Land. This led to damaging effects on both Barbie Land and all the Barbies living there.
Co-writer/director Greta Gerwig who was nominated for Oscars for “Little Women” and “Girl Byrd” made another successful movie with both humor and heart. Through the movie, she first gives audiences a perfect Barbie land that ideal to all women, then following Barbie’s adventure, we see challenges, pressures and unfairness women are facing in real world , which is far from what young girls see from Barbie World. That kind of disappointment and sadness will surely bring tears to your eyes. But that’s not all, she also uses Ken’s journey to dive in the topic of self-worth and the battle between “Patriarchy” and “Feminism”. With the power dynamic shifting in Barbie World , the movie reflects the problems we have in reality. Is there a way to be Equalism? The key is respect others and knowing your own self-value. Greta Gerwig also co-writer with her partner Noah Baumbach during the time they just had a baby. The mother and daughter relationship in the movie is also very heart warming and by the end, we will see this is a celebration of all women , especially for mothers.
In addition to plays the Barbie, Margot Robbie is also the producer of the film. She personally oversaw the development of the film and chose Ryan Gosling to play Ken. Simu Liu, a Chinese-Canadian star known for Marvel superhero Shang-Chi, also stars as an alternate version of Ken. The famous pop singer Dua Lipa (Dua Lipa) personally sings the dance music in the film and plays the mermaid. Margot Robbie is perfect to play Barbie. She has more than 20 outfits in the movie, which is a feast for the eyes. Ryan Gosling gives it all in the movie. He is hilarious and steals every scene he is in. He also showed his singing and dancing skills. Since his character is written so well with a full character arch that men and women both can related to, this character is the biggest surprise and may lead to an Oscar nomination to him. Best Picture, Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Production Design, and Original Song nominations are all potentially possible.
Barbie really is so far my favorite movie of this year. It’s comedy, fantasy, and satire all rolled into one, with spectacular production design, and many fun music numbers. It’s entertainment and also will stir many social discussions.