Barbie Movie Review: The mention of Barbie conjures up images of a perfect, well-dressed doll with a flawless life, but director Greta Gerwig takes this stereotype head-on in her latest movie. The first 15 to 20 minutes playfully indulge in these preconceived notions, only to shatter them and deliver a feminist and relatable masterpiece that lives up to the hype.
Starring the talented Margot Robbie as Barbie, the movie is set in Barbie Land, where various Barbies coexist with different roles. From the stereotype Barbie to President Barbie (Issa Rae), Physicist Barbie (Emma Mackey), and Lawyer Barbie (Sharon Rooney), the Barbies run the show while the Ken characters support and partner with them.
All seems well until the stereotype Barbie starts experiencing unusual emotions. She questions life and loses her doll-like mannerisms. Seeking answers, she discovers a portal between Barbie Land and the real world, leading her to embark on a journey to the other side.
Accompanied by Ken (Ryan Gosling), Barbie lands in the real world and encounters Gloria (America Ferrera) and her daughter Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt). While Gloria remains a fan, Sasha challenges Barbie’s ideals, labeling her a fascist. As Barbie learns about the real world’s complexities, Ken embarks on his own journey of self-discovery, realizing the privileges men enjoy due to patriarchy.
Greta, along with co-writer Noah Baumbach, crafts a colorful and fresh narrative that delves into the feminist ideology hidden behind Barbie’s facade. The film starts playfully but gradually reveals powerful messages, all while maintaining a humorous and coming-of-age tone
The screenplay and dialogues are the film’s strengths, packed with pop culture references and meta narration that elevate Barbie’s impact. Greta humorously takes digs at various elements, leaving the audience in splits. The film’s approach to surprise humor is reminiscent of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s style.
Margot Robbie shines in her role as Barbie, effortlessly transitioning from the traditional doll-like character to a more complex persona. However, it’s Ryan Gosling who steals the show with his energetic portrayal of Ken. His chemistry with Simu Liu adds an extra layer of hilarity to the film.
America Ferrera’s performance is another highlight, especially during a poignant monologue that resonates with viewers. Kate McKinnon’s portrayal of Weird Barbie is attention-grabbing, though Margot’s charisma outshines her.
While Barbie delivers on many fronts, it does have some flaws, particularly in the climax. The focus shifts from Barbie to Ken, undermining the film’s build-up. Additionally, the ending feels a bit convoluted, leaving viewers with unanswered questions.
In conclusion, Barbie is a must-watch for all, as it offers not just laughter but also valuable insights into the struggles faced by women. The film’s witty dialogue and Margot and Ryan’s exceptional performances make it an enjoyable and empowering experience. So, grab your Kens and head to the theaters for this impressive Greta Gerwig directorial that leaves a lasting impact.