Life in plastic…is it actually fantastic?
By Adisen Fischer
More than six decades after Mattel first began manufacturing its signature line of Barbie fashion dolls, the line now boasts 176 dolls with nine body types, 35 skin tones and 94 hairstyles.
On July 21, the blockbuster “Barbie” was released by Warner Bros Studio, and it quickly set box office records, earning $162 million during its opening weekend. “Barbie,” a PG-13 rated comedy/fantasy, takes viewers on an emotional roller coaster during its hour and 54-minute run time.
“Barbie” has become the highest-grossing movie of the year worldwide is currently the 16th biggest movie worldwide in box office history. Written and directed by Greta Gerwig, the film is based off the famous Barbie fashion doll toy introduced by Mattel in 1959.
In Barbie Land, life is perfect and includes the same routine day-in and day-out. Barbie is having the time of her life until she starts to discover changes (like cold showers, spoiled milk, cellulite and flat feet) happening within Barbie Land. A panicked Barbie goes to visit “weird Barbie,” played by Kate McKinnon, in hopes she can help fix all the new changes. When given the chance to travel to the real world, Barbie and Ken discover the joys and the hardships of living with humans.
“Barbie” featured a variety of huge artists at the top of their game including Lizzo’s “Pink,” Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For,” Dua Lipa’s “Dance the Night,” and Nicki Minaj, Ice Spice, and Aqua’s “Barbie World.” The eclectic mix of artists and genres blended for the perfect soundtrack to go with Barbie’s dreamy, pink, sparkly world.
This movie had a very fun and exciting plot that carried through the whole movie. Margot Robbie did an outstanding job with her role of Barbie. She embodied the look and personality of “superficial Barbie” and wore an amazing Barbie-worthy wardrobe throughout the film.
Ryan Gosling portrayed a “cringy” and “awkward” version of Ken that was entertaining to watch, however, he fell short on meeting my expectations for the role. I don’t think this will be one of Gosling’s most popular films. His character is not what I picture when I think of Ken.
The sets were perfect models of Barbie’s pink world and included several features that come straight from Mattel dreamhouses, camper vans, cars, boats and more. Visually, there are so many bright colors and patterns in Barbie Land that viewers are never bored. Pink stole the show with a variety of shades in all the sets and perfect outfits in every scene.
While this film has been controversial due to some claims that the feminist message is over the top, I really liked the movie and its deeper themes of self-acceptance, awareness and the human connection. There is a particularly touching scene that includes a montage of real footage of some friends and family of the cast and crew going through a variety of life experiences, showing Barbie that to be human is to experience life’s beauties and pains, beginning with girlhood and spanning to more weathered stages of adulthood.
Overall, I would give this movie a 4/5 stars and would recommend this movie to anyone who is looking for a good laugh along with a deeper message.