“Don’t blame me, blame Mattel. I don’t care.” -Weird Barbie
“Barbie has a great day every day, but Ken only has a great day if Barbie looks at him.” -Narrator.
Imagine living in a world where women are in charge and all are called by the same name – Barbie!Living in a world that is dominated by the colour pink and made of plastic, where everyday is the best day ever. It’s an ideal place to live, all the Barbies live in their own Barbie Dream House.Until one day one of them ‘Stereotypical’ begins to think about death and her feet which are suited to wearing high heels go flat!To fix the problems that have arisen in Barbie Land, ‘Stereotypical’ Barbie (Margot Robbie) is sent to see 'Weird' Barbie
(Kate McKinnon). This is the one Barbie who doesn’t conform to the expected beauty of the Barbies, she also represents what children have been known to do to the dolls, (cut their hair, paint their faces and nails and move their limbs in unnatural ways).
“Barbie is all these women. And all these women are Barbie.” -Narrator
If you wondered whether a doll called Barbie would make a movie for with messages both for children and adults you will be surprised to see that it can. The storyline creates a bridge between Barbie Land and the Human ‘Real’ World. The Barbies believe that in the ‘Real World’ young girls grow up to live highly accomplished lives such as doctors, lawyers, judges, scientists etc. because those are the roles Barbies have taken over the years! A 15-year-old I know who enjoyed the film particularly likes the fact that it shows the multifaceted role of women in our society. But unfortunately, when Barbie arrives in the
‘Real’ World, she finds a society led by men! Where everything is centred around their power, the things they need and want! This is something that Barbie has never
encountered before! But for Ken, who has travelled across with her this is a real eye opener; one that makes him realise how much power he can have just by taking it! But he cannot outsmart Barbie and the other women who team up and discover how easy it is to make men feel like they have the upper hand before taking the power back!
“Get into the box and we’ll go back to Barbie Land.” – Mattel CEO quotes from Barbie Movie
Greta Gerwig (director) has brought us a very different representation of Barbie and Ken to the one we have grown to believe in and expect. She has taught us the history of the doll woven carefully into the storyline, even explaining how the name Barbie came about. There is a special tribute to Ruth Handler in the film (the creator who gave her daughter’s name Barbara to the doll). We even learn how Mattel discontinues some lines of dolls and props that have proven to be unpopular! Margot Robbie does a wonderful job as ‘Stereotypical’ Barbie, alongside Ryan Gosling, who as Ken does everything he can to gain her attention. Together they are supported by a large number of talented actors in the many roles of the Barbies, Kens, Alan and members of the Mattel board.
With a great deal of humour and music the film teaches us several lessons about men and women living together, with equality and respect and how extreme beliefs can upset the balance of life where ever you may be.
“Since the beginning of time, since the first little girl ever existed, there have been dolls. But the dolls were always and forever baby dolls, until…” -Narrator quotes from Barbie Movie
Courtesy of Warner Brothers Entertainment