Home Music Barbie review: A Doll’s existential crisis leads to one of the year’s most life-affirming films

Barbie review: A Doll’s existential crisis leads to one of the year’s most life-affirming films

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dirty: Every day is a big day for Barbie (Margot Robbie). She wakes up in her dream house, takes a bath, puts on an amazing outfit, and then heads out to spend some time with her friends, who are all called Barbie, and are always a pleasure to see her. That’s life in Barbieland for you, always the same and always perfect… until the day Barbie wakes up and her day isn’t completely excellent. Small things go wrong, and she finds herself haunted by endless thoughts of death – not normal things for Barbie.

Fortunately, Weird Barbie (Kate McKinnon usually does the splits) is able to diagnose the problem: every Barbie in Barbie Land has a corresponding girl in the real world who plays with her, and there’s clearly something wrong with our playmate Barbie. So Barbie leaves Barbie Land behind to go on a trip to the real world, and along for the ride is Ken (Ryan Gosling), who loves Barbie but is frustrated by the fact that every night is girls’ night, and she never makes time for him. So while Barbie manages to find her playmate, Kenz has spent way too much time in the real world to learn about the way things work here…and Barbieland may never be the same.

Come on Barbie, let’s go party: Barbie is a magical trick, and a perfect example of a filmmaker taking an established piece of corporate IP and using it to get a message across loud and clear. Greta Gerwig’s third solo film as a director also manages to be giddy, silly, and funny at the time is essential to its strength, so the challenge of this review is to try to explore how the magic trick works, while staying true to itself. I have a horror at what you achieve.


After all, Barbie is not just a game. It’s a brand synonymous with femininity, infused with the power of vibrant pink; A force that has been weaponized by anti-feminists over the years while also viciously attacked by feminists themselves. If you’re a girl with Barbie, you’ve grown up with the idea that she’s the “perfect woman,” capable of every possible profession on the planet, but still largely defined by her aesthetic, from her clothes to her accessories to her braid to her high heels, for which Her feet are permanently molded.

Gerwig and Noah Baumbach’s script acknowledges all of the criticisms feminists have leveled for years (some more superficial than others—choosing a wide range of body types to play Barbieland Barbies doesn’t necessarily make up for decades of unrealistic body expectations). However, it does take it a step further to explore the promise of Barbie, and how good intentions don’t always lead to positive change.

Some of the concepts explored by Barbie It will sound familiar, however, when it comes to the complexities that come with being a modern-day woman, because feminists from Gloria Steinem to Liz Lemon have broached these themes for years now. Here’s the thing — yes, the complex paradox of being a woman inside the prison of society’s demands is well-covered ground. The reason we still talk about these problems is that They didn’t go away.


Barbie (Warner Bros.)

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