April 20, 2024

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Barbie (2023)

4 min read

As we go further into the wonders of 2024 we thought it was time to cover the Barbie movie, yup gave in after all and took the time to watch this, and, well its a film and thats about it.

After a heavily trailered 2001-parody opening, we move to a pastel pink haven in which, “thanks to Barbie, all problems of feminism and equal rights have been solved” thats what the nerator says anyway. This is Barbieland – a fantasy world in which dolls can be anything that they want to be (including pregnant apparently) this includes lawyer barbie, doctor barbie, physicist barbie, president barbie and many more, this was supposed it seems to inspire the girls of the world to be whatever they want to be and in this world that is exactly what happens. The world is perfect according to them.

Enter the standard barbie played by the wonderful Margot Robbie (Harlie Quinn fame) who is just perfect, her day starts runs and ends in a perfect way. No drama no problems no food… This is a dreamy world of perfection inhabited by perfect people.

Along with all the women, the barbies, we have the men, who are just Ken. Or Allan (a hapless Michael Cera). But mainly just Ken – an appendage without an appendage. At the centre of all this self-referential fluff is producer-star Margot Robbie’s “Stereotypical Barbie” – a role so perfect that when Helen Mirren’s narrator makes a sardonic gag about the casting, no one minds. So it comes as a surprise when this habitually smiley creature finds herself haunted by thoughts of sadness, anxiety and death. Worse still, she develops flat feet and (whisper it!) cellulite – two horsemen of the Barbie apocalypse.

After she finds herself in this fretful state there has to be a fix, a reason she can address to get back to her perfect existanse, in such cases all the barbies can do is visit Weird Barbie, Kate McKinnon’s who was “played with too hard” making her rather odd to say the least. Overly portrayed to the point of annoyance as well. Her response to the bad thoughts and weird events to standard barbie is “you have to go to the real world” and find the little girl playing with her and fix that problem at the source.

So that, unfortunately is what she does, there is a rather weird method to go between the worlds that involves, cars, bikes, boats and eventually Rollerblades, you have to rollerblade… only in the real world things are far from perfect as she was led to believe.

in the real world, women do not run everything, things are not free and the boss of Mattell (will farrell) is not their best friend. So how can she save her perfect life.

Meanwhile at Mattel HQ, Will Ferrell is reprising his Lego Movie role as the adult quasher of childish dreams, demanding that Barbie get “back in the box”. But by now, Barbie has met gothy teen Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt), who tells her that “you’ve been making women feel bad about themselves since you were invented”, adding; “You set the feminist movement back 50 years, you fascist!” Far from saving the world, Barbie seems to have helped create a dystopia in which “men look at me like an object” and “everyone hates women!”.

There are jokes about the red pill from The Matrix, the snow globe from Citizen Kane, the male “meaning” of Coppola’s The Godfather, and fanboyish emotional overinvestment in Zack Snyder’s director’s cut of Justice League. Yet Barbie is never anything less than inclusive – meaning that young(ish) fans raised on such animated staples as Barbie in the Nutcracker and Barbie of Swan Lake will find as much to cheer about as wizened old critics looking for smart film references.

The movie then deals with the partiarchy and how ken is brainwashed by the real world and just a couple of books and barbie must battle with him and un-brainwash and release her friends from his grasp.. feminist much here!

All in all a story that is so annoyingly feminist and man bashing it makes a modern male recoil, with undertones of so many other movies that people may not have seen it can be confusing. With simply horrific colour pallet you might feel sick after.

Yes this was a “good” movie but its just too long and tries to put too many of the worlds issues to right in one go.. its a smorges board of issues in one place a one stop shop. Margot and Ryan do a great job with what they are given overall this was a good time killer which was indeed as good as the hype but overall this wont be going into any archive (unless they put it int he library of congress purely down to the hype). Give it a go if you want, but dont expect mensa.

3/5

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