Barbie’s Wonderful Journey Through Existence and Feminism”
Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie is an absolute delight, and it’s not your typical cheerful dollhouse fantasy. Behind its seemingly frivolous exterior, the film presents a thought-provoking narrative that cleverly explores complex themes such as feminism, existentialism, and societal norms.
The movie centres around Margot Robbie’s portrayal of the iconic Barbie, a doll who finds herself malfunctioning due to a design flaw. Determined to understand the root cause of her issues, Barbie teams up with her partner, Ryan Gosling’s Ken, to venture into the real world. Little do they know that this journey will become an eye-opening experience for both of them.
What stands out most in Barbie is the way it masterfully delves into feminist themes. As Barbie navigates the real world, she is confronted with the harsh realities that women often face. From experiencing harassment on the streets to being gaslit by others, Barbie’s journey mirrors the challenges that many women encounter daily. Through her experiences, the film incisively comments on the patriarchal systems that often govern society.
At the same time, the movie becomes an exploration of existentialism. Barbie’s identity crisis and the questioning of her purpose highlight the universal struggle of finding one’s place in the world. The metaphor of malfunctioning body parts as she goes through existential turmoil serves as a clever commentary on the challenges of puberty and growing up.
Greta Gerwig’s writing, in collaboration with her husband Noah Baumbach, is nothing short of brilliant. Their combined talent shines through in the way they craft the film’s narrative. By setting Barbie against Ken, they cleverly symbolize the age-old battle of the sexes. This dynamic is further heightened by the stark contrast between Barbie’s world, where women hold power, and the real world, where patriarchy reigns.
Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Barbie is a standout performance that goes beyond mere acting. She adeptly brings to life a character who evolves from a seemingly superficial doll into a symbol of revolution and empowerment. Robbie’s ability to convey emotions without losing Barbie’s quintessential charm is remarkable.
Ryan Gosling, as Ken, delivers a memorable performance filled with humour and self-awareness. As he learns about patriarchy and its consequences, Gosling skilfully subverts traditional notions of masculinity, making Ken an endearing character who grows throughout the film.
Visually, the movie is a stunning experience. The vibrant world of Barbie is dominated by all shades of pink, from candy-coated houses to rosy sunsets. Production designer Sarah Greenwood and costume designer Jacqueline Durran deserve immense praise for their meticulous attention to detail, creating a captivating and immersive world.
While the film’s satire is sharp and impactful, it occasionally leans towards being self-indulgent. Gerwig makes her stance abundantly clear throughout the movie, which may feel repetitive to some viewers. However, the humor and cleverness infused into the film’s dialogue and scenes make up for this minor flaw.
Barbie’s satirical elements extend beyond the doll’s world. The film takes clever jabs at Mattel, the co-producer of the movie, for some of its controversial business decisions. It also slyly pokes fun at Warner Bros for its handling of the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League.
In the end, Barbie is a triumph of storytelling and social commentary. Greta Gerwig successfully reimagines the iconic doll as a powerful symbol of feminism and existentialism. Through its engaging narrative, stellar performances, and clever satire, the film challenges societal norms and leaves the audience with thought-provoking questions about gender roles and identity.
Overall, Barbie is a must-watch for those who seek a unique and intelligent cinematic experience. Its blend of clever satire, feminist themes, and existential explorations make it a film that will resonate long after the credits roll.