Updated: Oct 4
Barbie starring Margot Robbie in the title role, lives in a Barbieland full of Kens and other Barbie’s. The main Ken is played by Ryan Gossling. In our childhood, we always saw Barbie as a jack of all trades, able to do anything and everything. She has a townhouse, car and a horse and is the epitome of beauty. Ken has always been Ken. He has been a lifeguard and just there to be the companion to Barbie. That is pretty much the premise of the movie. Barbie questions if there is more to life than her life in Barbieland. She also questions her mortality, which begins a journey for Barbie to learn if there is life beyond her current every day, monotonous life. Ken comes along for the ride but what else is Ken going to do and that is another point of the movie. Barbie visits weird Barbie (Kate McKinnon) who is a discontinued Barbie. who encourages Barbie to explore the outside world.
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures Youtube Channel
In the outside world, we see the Mattel company, the makers of Barbie. There we see Gloria (America Ferrera) who works for the CEO of Mattel, going through things with her daughter Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt) and that her doll that used to bind them, no longer connects them. This part of the movie speaks about the working mom and the guilt they feel working and missing out on their children growing up. Barbie is what kept them bonded when her daughter was young and ironically, Barbie bonds them again when they find Barbie running away from the CEO (Will Ferrell) who doesn’t want a real-life Barbie in the real world. Ken finds himself and learns that in the real world it is basically a patriarchy and takes that thought process back to Barbieland. Barbie and her newfound friend Gloria and Sasha and the CEO and his crew all head back to Barbieland.
Back in Barbieland, everyone learns lessons about themselves. The Ken’s learn that it’s okay to be yourself and you don’t need to have the admiration and approval of Barbie to be happy. The Barbies learned that it’s okay to be you, even weird Barbie is accepted back into the fold. Gloria and Sasha found that they’re not so far apart as they seem and the CEO’s learned to be more flexible with their thinking and to embrace their inner Ken.
Barbie was a surprise. The acting from Margot Robbie and Ryan Gossling was superb. The performances by both were both funny and emotional. They pull us in as they go on a journey to find meaning to their lives. The existential crisis that all the main characters go through, makes you care and stay to see how they work through it all. Greta Gerwig’s direction was excellent. She managed to make Barbie, a feminist with a heart and soul. We still get the nostalgic feel based off the bright, pink sets and clothes. Ken found a voice in this movie that the doll doesn’t get in real life. The movie tugs at your heart strings but manages to make you feel good at the same time. Barbie is a must see.