The Barbie Movie: A Love Letter to Everyone
If you find yourself consistently thinking this, there's a high chance you’ve recently watched Barbie. However, if that’s all you know of the movie, avert your eyes as I will be reviewing Barbie in full with many, many spoilers ahead.
There is the “real world” and the “Barbie World” which are introduced within the first few minutes of the movie. The concept is that the dolls made a huge impact on the real world and allowed women to step into any role they wanted to. The dolls think everything is fixed.
Obviously, it's not.
Generic Barbie played by Margot Robbie has her dream house, regularly says “Hi, Barbie” to her neighbors and her heels NEVER touch the ground. She lives on a proverbial cloud nine until thoughts of death invade her thoughts. This is unacceptable in her world.
To fix her now crumbling outlook on life, Barbie heads to the real world to find the girl who's feeling sad and thus go back to normal.
When Barbie (along with Ken played by Ryan Gosling) enters the real world, she finds that despite the progressiveness of her world where it's an all-female Congress, it's very different from what she thought. Women still don’t “run the world” and she experiences the sexual harassment that all women experience in real life.
She ends up at Mattel, Barbie headquarters and finds it’s entirely run by men. After attempting to get her into her box so she could go back, the Mattel men find themselves in a full-on chase after Barbie. She escapes thanks to Gloria (America Ferrera) and her daughter.
Barbie and co then head back to Barbie World where Barbie finds that everything has completely changed. While Barbie had been at Mattel, Ken discovered patriarchy...
I’ll leave it there because the ending should simply be watched. You can see how the story will continue but despite the fact that it's somewhat predictable, this movie changed my life.
Since the movie has come out, its topped box office records and made history with a mostly female cast and a female Director. However, there are some who simply think this movie is geared toward hating men. That is simply not true.
Barbie switches the roles or traits traditionally associated with men and women. The women are confident, in leadership roles, and are fine without relationships. The Kens (and Allan) are shown to be solely focused on impressing the Barbies and competing with each other for Barbie’s attention.
Most women, especially in older movies, are portrayed as vapid and shallow. This was a fun turn, but it never felt malicious, simply showing different standards and traits associated with being a man or women.
The movie does an excellent job of showing how the Kens and Barbies deal with these roles and the struggles that come with them. Often, men are portrayed as confident and cold, not allowing them to show emotions.
Obviously, that’s an unhealthy stereotype, however, it's still true today in the real world. Women are still fighting for equal pay and to be in positions of leadership, which the Kens show very well.
When Ken discovers patriarchy, he feels validated because men are the main show which is different from his world. That translates very easily but the most incredible moment was when all of the Kens find themselves or at least start the journey.
Without giving too much away, each Ken and Barbie finds their own self and Generic Barbie gets to see what it's like to be human. It's hard and being a woman has its own challenges.
By now you’ve probably heard about Ferrera’s monologue, and the hype is not overrated. The contradiction of perfection and self-acceptance, how you think you should be and how the world thinks of you, how to act, to be small but not too small. It’s put so perfectly in the movie; it brought me to tears (and many others in the theatre).
Don’t be fooled by the trailers full of happy-go-lucky childish moments. This movie hits you at your core and reveals all the insecurities men and women struggle with. It’s truly moving to see it portrayed by childhood toys.
Ultimately, each person will take what they will from this movie, but the message is, don’t lose your child. Not literally, though that is considered bad at the movies. I’m talking about those dreams, and hopes, and the lack of inhibitions you had before you realized the world has its own agenda.
You are whoever you choose to be, and the movie acknowledges it’s hard to just be alive in this world in a way that makes you feel lighter and seen.
This movie is absolutely for everyone and it's very much a love letter to whoever watches it. There are some adult jokes that will sail right over a kid's head but make any adult chuckle. While I’ve mentioned how moving it was, the movie also provided the perfect amount of comedic relief. Every actor provided a unique hilarity that had me trying to muffle my laughs in the theatre.
Of all the movies released this year, granted I have not yet seen Oppenheimer, this one is the best. It gave everything it said it would and more. For the first time in years, I left the theatre feeling lighter and more understood than I ever have.
Whether you go by yourself or with your family, it’s the perfect movie. I was not even a girl who played with Barbie, and I went ballistic over how well this was done. Since watching it, I’ve seen a revival in female comradery online, a more positive outlook in my own life, and a confidence about myself hasn’t been there for a while.
If you choose to let yourself really get lost in the movie, you’ll understand why it made such a huge splash since its opening at the box office.
I’d love to know what you think of the movie. Connect with me on FB!
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