The Barbie movie is the film I never thought I would be this unbelievably hyped for, but in the weeks leading up to it, there was a tangible excitement growing in me. Entering the premiere and seeing so many people who’d dressed up, proved I wasn’t the only one who experienced this euphoria. But could the film actually live up to my high expectations?

The premise is quite simple, there is an alternate(?) dimension wherein Barbies and Kens live, which is a physical manifestation of the children playing with them. The Stereotypical Barbie suddenly has dark thoughts of death, and her body is no longer perfect since it now isn’t plastic and fantastic anymore. Weird Barbie tells her she needs to find the girl in the real world who is playing with her, and hopefully fix this, as the two have opened a rift between the real world and Barbie’s.

The plot is a as weirdly absurd as it sounds like, and the above summarization is only half the film, it goes beyond bonkers with Ken’s discovery of the patriarchy. And albeit it’s obscure nature, it works wonderfully well, the movie never takes itself too seriously, and it works in its favor, the character’s sense of disbelief is always almost immediately extinguished, everyone treating this like a normal incident, thus leading the audience into this same sense of fantastical wonder.

What surprised me the most is that this is a funny movie! There are so many jokes stuffed into its 1 hour and 50 minute runtime, it constantly kept me entertained, and everyone in the cinema laughed constantly. There’s a joke that still sticks with me, because it comes so out of the blue, yet fits the tone of the movie perfectly with its metahumorous nature. Getting consistent laughs from the audience is an accomplishment in of itself, and Barbie went above and beyond.

Another thing that caught me off guard was the heavy social commentary the movie leaned into. It gets very obvious from the start how in a world dominated by women in Barbieland, Ken feels distraught and lost, with no real purpose other than being, as he puts it, “beach” (trust me, you will get this when you watch the movie. He has no greater purpose than to pursue Barbie and be an accessory to her, and exploring this power dynamic, or rather, how such an unbalanced power dynamic affects an individual. I loved following it, showing that no matter which side the scale tips, it should never be one or the other, but instead an equilibrium. It loses a bit of steam with this message towards the end, but luckily, it’s not the only theme the movie explores, the highlight being going into what being a human is. And these slows moments, when the movie stops with all the jokes, all the stylish neon, and just have a beautiful moment, that’s where the movie excels and becomes something way more than just a cash grab.

The star-speckled cast adds another layer of excellence to the movie, special shoutout to Margot Robbie, how they ever considered someone else for this role is baffling when you watch the performance she gives. There wasn’t a more perfect Barbie than her, and that goes to every other cast member as well, no one feels miscasted and they all do a terrific job every second they spend on screen.

Just a tiny sidenote, but the soundtrack for the movie could not be a better fit, and if you haven’t listened to Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For” do it right now, it’s breathtaking.

One cannot talk about a Barbie movie without pointing out style, something the movie is overflowing with. Barbieland is a great location, stuffed to the brim with neon and color. Thus, the real world opposite serves as such a nice contrast, because it doesn’t look ugly, just very…real. All the locations are gorgeously crafted, from the Mattel CEO office to Weird Barbie’s house. Every outfit is a marvel to the eyes, and even something as simple as the text appearing throughout is wonderfully stylized.

The only downside to the movie is that some plotlines and scenes towards the end feel a bit drawn out just to make the movie a bit longer. Certain sequences could be cut in half, it would keep the tempo and still keep its charm. These are not atrocious offences, however, there was a certain moment when I just wished for the sequence to be over so we could get on with the great stuff. Luckily, the ending reels it back in into greatness once more.

I never thought I would say that a Barbie movie would not only be good, but great! It’s jam-packed with style, flare and humor, but at the same time perfectly balanced with serious topics and moments. With a star-bangled cast to boot and a terrific soundtrack, it’s a homerun on almost every front. Although some parts of the last act outstay their welcome and some messages become muddled, the movie is able to reel it in for a beautiful ending to what is overall a wonderful package.

 

Forfatter

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1 Comment

  1. The truth is that I do not understand how this film can be given so many stars. I went to the movie with expectations and came out suffocated by so much feminism. I am a woman and I like equality, but the message of this film is laughable. I thought we were over the war of the sexes, but apparently not.

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