Greta Gerwig's "Barbie": A Gleeful Escape with a Purpose Branching into a different genre, director and co-writer Greta Gerwig’s "Barbie" is a refreshing and brilliant work of art. The film offers a delightful visual buffet and successfully juxtaposes between a playful escape into the world of toys and a bold, stirr...
Greta Gerwig's "Barbie": A Gleeful Escape with a Purpose
Branching into a different genre, director and co-writer Greta Gerwig’s "Barbie" is a refreshing and brilliant work of art. The film offers a delightful visual buffet and successfully juxtaposes between a playful escape into the world of toys and a bold, stirring declaration. "Barbie" is crafted with such comprehensive precision that one cannot grasp all its facets in one sitting. Insights can be drawn from the tiniest accessories, courtesy of detailed work by the costume designer Jacqueline Durran and production designer Sarah Greenwood. Cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto ensures the film maintains its gleaming and vibrant appearance. Beyond reproducing various Barbies through the decades, Gerwig and her team bring these characters to life with unique energy and brazen self-awareness.
"Barbie": A Comedy Meets Existential Exploration
"Barbie" is filled with numerous laugh-out-loud moments created courtesy of the isolated and idyllic, pink-tinted world of Barbie, combined with physical comedy arising from unexpected scenarios. The story revolves around Barbie (acted by Margot Robbie), the most adored figure in Barbie's land, who undergoes a self-doubt crisis. To find her true essence and purpose, Barbie ventures into the human world, accompanied by her on-and-off boyfriend, Ken (Ryan Gosling). Their journey is filled with shocking realities and newfound friendships, reminiscent of "The Truman Show" and "The LEGO Movie," but viewed through Gerwig’s witty perspective.
"Barbie": Celebrating Feminism while Addressing Body Image Issues
"Barbie" directly addresses the unrealistic body standards it promotes and their impact on young girls’ self-image while simultaneously applauding Barbie as a symbol of female empowerment. Interestingly, the film showcases Mattel (the doll’s manufacturer) and Warner Bros. (the movie’s distributor) as in on the jests aimed at them. It tackles the duality of their corporate practices in a satirical fashion while throwing light on diversity issues.
Star-Packed Performance in "Barbie”
Margot Robbie, as Barbie, delivers an impeccable performance, balancing satirical humor with heartfelt sincerity. Robbie's range in capturing Barbie’s extensive emotions is noteworthy. Ryan Gosling, too, manages to consistently steal the limelight with his comedic portrayal of Ken, Barbie’s hapless boyfriend. The dynamic ensemble cast boasts several standout performances from established actors, including Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Alexandra Shipp, Simu Liu, and America Ferrera. Though Michael Cera’s character Allan is often overlooked in the sea of muscular Kens, his role cannot be forgotten.
"Barbie": A Theatrical Roller-Coaster Ride
Despite its innovative and engaging narrative, "Barbie” can feel sporadically imbalanced. The film experiences a slow phase in the midst of presenting its thoughtful themes, which otherwise pack a punch. The film's occasional need to over-explain can halt its forward momentum. The initial satirical slant to the movie allows a smooth delivery of these profound themes, tackling toxic masculinity, entitlement, female empowerment, and collaborative strength.
Overall, "Barbie" is undoubtedly a crowd-pleaser that also triggers deep and reflective conversations post-viewing. It mixes entertainment with thought-provoking overtones, effectively offering a delightful film experience.