Barbie (2023): Review
Credit: Barbie Movie
This movie is everything. Not just Barbie.
If you told me last week that I’d be walking out of Barbie feeling like I’d just experienced some kind of spiritual awakening that would trigger an existential crisis, I would laugh very hard and walk in the opposite direction. But that’s what happened and I’m so glad it did.
This movie was perfect in every way and did exactly what it set out to do and way more. Before sitting down to watch Barbie, I was looking forward to the easy laughs, and actually said ‘it’ll probably be like a female Grown Ups’. I had never played with Barbie as a kid and I’ve never engaged in media surrounding the franchise, so I knew going in that I wasn’t really the target audience. But I was wrong.
At a surface level, this movie is brilliantly directed, it was visually pleasing, the cast are all notable names in the industry who did a great job in each individual role, and the script was full of funny jokes and gags to keep you laughing throughout. But it’s not just a funny movie about Barbie. It’s a commentary on so many different societal issues and feels like a cultural reset.
The first 30 minutes of the film is incredibly funny. The music is specifically tailored to each scene and has hilarious commentary on things that could only happen in Barbie Land. But after that, Barbie then begins to develop imperfections. Her feet arches go flat, she develops cellulite, and starts thinking about death. She then visits ‘weird’ Barbie who advises her to journey to the real world to fix these imperfections. I have to admit, I was worried that the movie would continue down this theme of returning to perfection, because the last thing we need is another piece of media promoting unattainable beauty standards. I’m glad I was proven wrong.
When I was watching the trailer, I recognised it would be a great feminist movie, but I was concerned it would go too far in the other direction. Feminism is about equality, not misandry, and the slogan of ‘She is everything. He’s just Ken’ hinted at the latter. Once again, I was proven wrong.
Without giving too much more away, Barbie managed to address the issues of misogyny, the lack of women in higher up roles in big corporations (even making plenty of digs at Mattel itself), the importance of women and men being equal (not just one gender taking charge), and that beauty is nothing to do with perfection.
Barbie is an incredible piece of cinema. It is carefully thought through, has some amazingly funny and heart wrenching scenes, addresses everything it needed to address, and has created a feel good film for everyone.
If you’re still not sure whether you should watch Barbie, I’ll leave you with this:
Review by H_L_llama