Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

‘Barbie’ steps out of her Dream House and into real world

Barbie steps out of her Dream House and into real world

The highly anticipated movie “Barbie,” directed by Greta Gerwig, created a frenzy of excitement for movie viewers on July 21st. The movie’s marketing has been effective, as it has caused an enormous amount of people around the world to be drawn toward it. Many rushed to see it the moment the film hit theaters. Almost immediately after its long-awaited release, “Barbie” received an outpouring of different reactions from different perspectives.

Starring Barbie (Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling), this film starts out in a dream-like fantasy. Barbie (Margot Robbie) lives her perfect life in her Dreamhouse, surrounded by her friends, which are composed of different versions of Barbie and Ken, with the exception of a discontinued doll, Allan (Michael Cera). In their world, the Barbies keep society afloat, all having their own important jobs that help the community. The Kens (and Allan) are there to support the Barbies in their endeavors.

Time goes by, and Barbie, the stereotypical one that is, starts noticing changes in herself. She begins feeling off and is informed that she must go and visit Weird Barbie (Kate McKinnon) to figure out what is wrong with her. She is told by Weird Barbie that she has formed an emotional connection with a human that played with her. Her emotions have been causing Barbie to gain emotional and physical changes that invoke fear within her. She must travel into the human world to fix this. She tries to leave her dream world by herself, but Ken sneaks into the car.

In a quest for his own validation, Ken is constantly following Barbie like a lost puppy dog because that is all he knows. He believes that he was made to be Barbie’s loyal boyfriend and that is his only role in society. As Barbie and Ken enter the human world, they both notice changes. Barbie feels unsettled and hurt as a result of the shift she sees in the treatment of women from her dream world to the real world. Ken’s view is different. He learns about the patriarchy and wants to incorporate it into their dream world. Barbie is almost kidnapped by the CEO of Mattel (Will Ferrel) but has a lucky escape. By the time Barbie gets back to her world with Gloria (America Ferrera), the woman she was looking for, and her daughter, Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt), Ken has already brought the patriarchy to the dream world. It is up to Barbie and her friends, those who haven’t been seemingly brainwashed, to save the dream world community from mirroring the human world too closely.

I laughed and cried. The movie was the perfect combination of comedy and seriousness.  It summed up the feminist movement in a simple and entertaining way.  This movie, although rated PG-13, is relatable to a person of almost any age as they would be able to identify with the conflict this film works so tirelessly to portray. The film’s message–women have always had to work harder than men in society to be treated even remotely the same because of patriarchal views.

I felt that the concept of the dream world versus the real world was a very interesting, yet intelligent take. In Barbie’s dream world, women made up the entire Supreme Court and held all leadership positions.  In contrast, in the movie’s depiction of the real world, men encountered by the viewer held all positions of power.  I did not think that the contrast between the two worlds was there to insinuate that only women should run the world because that could anger some people. I believe Gerwig’s distinction of the two worlds affords perspective to those who cannot clearly identify the privilege that comes with being a man in our society.

The representation in this movie was overall good but could improve. There were people of color, trans, and plus-size representation throughout the film. But still, the film could have done a better job of highlighting a variety of communities. Each Barbie has a Ken.  Since the dream world has been designed to be a heterosexual community based on the dolls created by Mattel, it was lacking in queer representation.

The cast was amazing. Margot Robbie acting was phenomenal. She starts the movie as a perfect Barbie doll, but she grows into herself as the movie goes on and she is exposed to more. The stereotypical Barbie we see at the beginning of the movie changes drastically by the end. She was able to make me feel a range of emotions throughout the movie with her very convincing performance. Ryan Gosling was the perfect Ken. I have to admit, I doubted his performance before the movie came out due to his age but I was completely wrong. He was hilarious and his character was the biggest emotional rollercoaster in the movie. America Ferrera’s performance was incredibly moving and Michael Cera’s performance was iconic. The rest of the giant cast was also extraordinary.

Overall, I was blown away by this movie. I would definitely see it in the theater again. The excitement I felt in anticipation for it to come out was one hundred percent justified and I recommend this movie to absolutely anyone.

Grade: A

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About the Contributor
Lucette Ow, Staff Reporter
Lucette is a sophomore at Pelham Memorial High School. Previously, she was a reporter for the Hutchinson Bear at Hutchinson Elementary School. She is thrilled to be part of the Pelham Examiner, as writing is a past time she thoroughly enjoys. She is a member of Sock n' Buskin and the Pelham Memorial High School chamber chorus and jazz band. Outside of school, she enjoys theatre, dance, reading, and writing.

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