Director: Greta Gerwig
Alright, where do I even start with this movie? In a few words, this whole movie felt like a fever dream. The first 20 minutes are absolutely hilarious. With a combination of funny scenes, and sassy one liners, it was one of the greatest opening scenes I’ve watched in a long time. Even past such a strong opening, it kept me laughing for a long time.
Barbie was a fun ride that I think most people should give a shot. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did, but it was hilarious. I think this movie is best experienced either with a significant other or a group. Be aware, there are some mature jokes, so even though the movie is based on a kids’ toy, don’t be surprised at some crass jokes.
Spending time on the internet, I can see that this movie seems a bit polarizing for some people. For me personally, though I understand the criticism, I just think that the movie isn’t that deep. A majority of the movie is focused around the topics of equality, patriarchy, and matriarchy. And while I do understand some of the stances the movie takes, I think the best way to enjoy Barbie is to just watch the movie.
Now for some, the way some topics are discussed might offend someone, but at the end of the day, the Barbie movie is there to entertain you. And if you get a laugh out of the movie, then it did its job. I laughed and enjoyed the movie all the way to end. As I said before, some of the scenes made it feel like a fever dream, which was fun.
With that out of the way, here is your mandatory spoiler warning. I’ll cover parts of the plot and characters, so if you want to watch this movie without being tainted, I’d stop right here. With that out of the way, let’s get started.
So, let’s start with plot. When you boil it down, the story is quite simple. In this world, the humans who play with the Barbies indirectly affect them. In this case, our lead Barbie, Stereotypical Barbie, gets infected with ideas of death. I think what I found interesting about this take is that other Barbie movies I’ve watched don’t usually cover such heavy topics right away.
This exploration of the idea of death is a great contrast from the perfect life set up in Barbieland, which got me interested right away. The rest of the movie is spent exploring the differences between Barbieland and the real world. In the real world, Ken learns about the patriarchy and uses it in Barbieland to gain power so that he isn’t ignored anymore. This whole set up gives way to so many comedic moments. I think one of my favourite parts of the movie was watching Ken discover the men driven world. It was funny, yet also sad at the same time.
Besides the plot, I have to say that the characters were entertaining enough. All in all, these characters aren’t trying to be deep or anything of the like. Instead, they are vehicles to deliver jokes. Yes, there is some development here and there, but overall, they deliver jokes that, personally, landed.
The cast had great chemistry together, and I enjoyed their back and forth bickering. My favourite character had to be the narrator. Of all the characters in the movie, I didn’t expect a narrator, much less one with a bunch of well timed, sassy one liners. It was a great experience that added to the humor.
Now, for my Marvel fans, I have to say, seeing our good friends Shang-Chi and Gravik chilling and being Ken’s was pretty funny. Now, there was no Marvel influence at all, let me get that straight. I just appreciated seeing the actors again in such a different role.
With the side note aside, I do want to mention that this movie isn’t just humor. There were a surprising amount of wholesome moments. Now I didn’t cry, but some moments did get me teary eyed. While the movie does lean on satire quite a bit, there are some great topics that managed to shine through.
To wrap things up, I have to say that the Barbie movie surprised me. I didn’t expect to enjoy or laugh as much as I did. If you don’t overly focus on the messages they’re trying to force onto you, the movie is quite enjoyable. Just keep an open mind, and remember, it’s not that deep. The movie also has its moments where it does feel not for kids, so be aware of that.