Barbie Review

Saturday 22 July 2023

Plot: Barbie suffers a crisis that leads her to question her world and her existence.
 Film: Barbie

Director: Greta Gerwig

Writers: Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach

Starring: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera, Arianna Greenblatt

Like many others, I wasn’t really sure what the plot of this film was going to be. I was sold solely on the idea of Greta Gerwig teaming up with Margot Robbie and choregraphing dance routines. As I’m sure not everyone will have had the chance to do the Barbenhiemer double bill like I did, I won’t spoil too much of the plot but from the trailer we know that Barbie and Ken have travel to the real world and it couldn’t be more different than the life they know in Barbieland.

Let’s begin with the ‘politics’ of the film as I’ve seen so many unhappy reviews in the last twenty-four hours. It’s hardly politics at all, what we’re talking about is a role reversal of a world where women are everything and men are accessories -yes, we’re talking about Barbieland. So, when Barbie and Ken come to the real world, Barbie is shocked to discover that men run the world and women hate her, while Ken learns maybe he doesn’t just have to be an accessory after all and comes up with an ill-conceived plan to have it all. The film proceeds to poke fun at serious topics, highlighting very real issues while promoting fun and feminism. For me, it was the perfect blend of fantasy and reality, I could feel so seen but also enjoy an amusing film about a Barbie doll come to life. 

There’s one moment when Barbie has been in the real world for a while, everything seems different and awful, but she sits and looks around and sees an old woman, there aren’t any old lady Barbie’s, so Barbie says she’s beautiful and there were tears in my eyes. It was such a calm and quiet moment in an otherwise loud and silly film, and I think that’s when I decided I’d be rating it higher than I originally anticipated. Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling are a perfect match for their roles, and I desperately hope they’ll get their Best Actress and Supporting Actor nominations come awards season, because they both deserve them. Kate McKinnon as ‘Weird’ Barbie was also a highlight, but I won’t give more detail as some things are best experienced yourself.

The soundtrack is something I didn’t think was for me when I was listening to it ahead of the film’s release, I’m not typically a pop kind of girl but every song was so perfectly used and finally getting to hear the Lizzo track while watching the opening to the film was definitely the right move not releasing it early. The song ‘I’m Just Ken’ performed by Ryan Gosling however was released early and I wish they had kept that a surprise for the film’s release, this isn’t a musical so I wasn’t expecting a full musical performance and it was brilliantly done, Ken isn’t a villain, just a character that was designed as an accessory to Barbie who is lost and I won’t lie, I was rooting for him to figure it out even if his actions were misguided, he simply didn’t know any better. 

I know this film won't be for everyone, but every time an angry man negatively reviews Barbie, Greta Gerwig only grows stronger, and it further proves how much we need a film like this in 2023. I almost rated the film 4 stars because I thought people wouldn’t take me seriously and that’s the painful irony. Barbie made a lot of bold moves in making patriarchy the villain of the movie but before anyone cries misandry, take a look around the cinema and see just how many women are nodding their heads anytime something uncomfortable is discussed, I know I wasn’t the only one. People wrongly assumed this would be a film for kids, and while it isn’t inappropriate for a younger audience, the target demographic is anyone that knows the real world would be a better place if women liked each other more and men weren’t always trying to put us down. 

Post a Comment

© The Northern Film Blog. Design by FCD.