Barbie has been a beloved and iconic figure for generations, and the 2023 installment in the franchise brought a modern twist to a beloved classic. Directed by Greta Gerwig and featuring Margaret Robbie, Ryan Gosling and a well-rounded cast, the film calls for empowerment and change.
In Barbieland, dolls are the only ones that occupy all positions of authority. Ken’s only real assets are the beach and his attractive appearance. The Kens are the arm candy for the strong, independent barbies.
In the second part of the movie, Ryan Gosling returns from the “Real World” with a severely distorted conception of masculinity and patriarchy. Here is where the movie starts to explore toxic masculinity and men’s issues, showing how men’s constant need to establish their dominance and masculinity harms not only themselves but also society at large.
By the time the film ends, Barbie has expressed a desire to create a society that is more equal and to inspire the Kens to follow their own goals.
One of the film’s best moments occurred during Gloria (America Ferrera)’s monologue about the unfair double standards associated with being a woman. “I am just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us,” she said.
The Barbieworld is rendered with vivid colors, intricate details, and imaginative landscapes that truly transport the audience to a fantastical realm. The attention to detail in Barbie’s wardrobe and the elaborate set designs will surely delight fans of the doll’s fashion and lifestyle. In an 8-minute architectural digest video, Margaret Robbie takes the audience inside the dream house of barbie.
Gerwig’s creations namely Lady bird (2017), Little women (2019) and Barbie (2023) circle around women’s empowerment. She made history in 2023 when Barbie became the first solo female director’s picture to gross over $1 billion globally. The box office collection is calculated to be $1.441 billion USD.
Barbie was released at the box office alongside Oppenheimer, a vastly different film. This set off a narrative that revolved around the films’ juxtaposition named Barbenheimer. Fan-made posters, internet memes, Barbenheimer based shirt designs, tweets widely circulated the internet boosting the marketing of the movie.
Barbie’s character development in Barbie 2023 is given more depth than in some previous films, making her a relatable and empowering role model for young viewers. The most standout aspect of the movie, in my view, is the soundtrack. The essence and depth of the entire film has been captured in Billie Ellish’s song, “What was I made for.” The lyrics centered around self-identity. The second verse of the song read:
Takin’ a drive, I was an ideal
Looked so alive, turns out I’m not real
Just somethin’ you paid for
What was I made for?