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Barbie Movie

The most-talked-about movie of the year, Barbie, directed by the effusive Greta Gerwig, is a cornucopia of color and comedy that brings the iconic doll to life. Showcasing intricate details...

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  • Released: July 21, 2023 (United States)
  • Director: Greta Gerwig
  • Content Rating: PG-13
  • Barbie Movie screen 1
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The most-talked-about movie of the year, Barbie, directed by the effusive Greta Gerwig, is a cornucopia of color and comedy that brings the iconic doll to life. Showcasing intricate details and providing endless laughter, the movie is surely a joyride, but it also comes with a complex blend of themes.

Taking us on a journey through Barbieland, Gerwig spins a tale of existential crisis, self-discovery, and friendship. The story's central character, Barbie (played by Margot Robbie), is the most adored doll and her adventure into the real world, chaperoned by her occasional boyfriend, Ken (Ryan Gosling), is a roller coaster of contrast. They both learn harsh truths about the asperity of reality, offering a contemplative candy to chew on amidst the laughter and vivid colors.

With the combined vision of Oscar-nominated creatives on board, Barbie is an aesthetic treat. Jacqueline Durran's costume design and Sarah Greenwood's production design are a riot of colors and clever ideas, creating a world that is engrossingly vibrant yet profoundly familiar. Adding to this is cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, infusing a glossy aurora into this recreation of Barbie’s decades-long history, her variety of outfits, hairstyles, and perfectly designed dream houses. 

Just as Barbie is more than a mere toy, so too does Margot Robbie dig deeper into the character, delivering a performance of perfect balance. She embodies the frantic optimism of the character fully, while also successfully navigating the nuanced dialogue penned by Gerwig and co-writer Noah Baumbach. Ryan Gosling equally shines, depicting Ken’s transformation from Barbie’s submissive partner to his vain caricature of manliness. The ensemble cast, each playing different Barbies and Kens are praise-worthy, with Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, and America Ferrera deserving special mentions.

Barbie is more than a fun adventure; it is a wry mirror to society. It acknowledges the unrealistic standards of beauty Barbie projects while also embracing her as an insignia of feminism. The punchy jokes directed at Mattel and Warner Bros., and the offbeat topics of diversity and prejudice make Barbie a refreshing addition to the comedy genre. However, at times the movie tries too hard to drive these points home, resulting in slightly uneven pacing. 

Despite a few hiccups, Barbie is an engaging and relevant movie, layered with playful satire and poignant societal commentary. It’s a visual feast with a sting, a movie that will appeal to both fans of the trademark pink doll and those seeking thoughtful entertainment.

Pros:

  • Stellar performances by the star cast;
  • Satirical yet poignant handling of societal issues;
  • Engaging storyline and excellent production design.

Cons:

  • Uneven pacing due to heavy-handed themes;
  • Overexposure of key scenes through marketing campaigns.

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