Barbie Film Review!
One of the most anticipated films of 2023, “Barbie” is one of the most marketed productions of recent years. So was the film “Barbie” worth so much talk? What does “Barbie” actually tell? We examined the “Barbie” film in detail, from its acting to its story and cinematography.
What is the plot of the film “Barbie”?
Directed by Greta Gerwig and co-written by Noah Baumbach, “Barbie” centres on Barbie, who lives in Barbie Land and for some reason she cannot understand, cannot adapt to the perfection of both her body and the universe. Barbie embarks on an adventure in the real world to correct her “imperfections” that she has to face for the first time, and Ken accompanies her on this journey.
What does the film “Barbie” tell?
The film “Barbie” is a satirical production with both comedy and satire. Moreover, it is very clear about what it criticises and does not want this to escape the eyes of any viewer. It has a wide range of criticisms, from the perception of perfection to the position of women in both traditional and modern society and capitalism. Moreover, it takes more courage than one might think to do all this through the Barbie doll, which can be called the representation of all of them. Because when you bring what you criticise into the public eye, you also advertise it. It is necessary to clearly draw the line between the values that “contribute to society and women” defended by Barbie and the situation of “imprisoning women in certain physical and social moulds”, which has been criticised by many groups for years, and not to ignore any of them. The film does this in a precise way and even by expressing it through the mouths of the characters. “We praise the positive aspects of Barbie and all the ideas behind it, but we also criticise the aspects that need to be criticised,” they openly say.
For this very reason, it is a very logical idea to put the stereotypical Barbie at the centre of the film – as the film explains; the standard Barbie that everyone thinks of first when they think of Barbie. As we see in the film, there are many types of Barbies in the toy line such as Doctor Barbie, President Barbie, Writer Barbie, Sportsman Barbie. However, at the centre of the film, it is the stereotypical, that is, standard Barbie who falls into existential questions. In other words, the first produced, the most classic, the one we know best, the first step of perfection, the most basic woman… Since Barbie’s perfect body moulds, the perception of “the woman who should be” and this whole cultural pyramid started with this stereotypical Barbie, it is meaningful that the first steps of a new transformation are taken by her; the first questions and doubts are born in her mind. For this reason, it becomes even more internalisable to watch Barbie’s journey of self-discovery and the reason for her “flaws”, albeit reluctantly.
The film “Barbie” and Feminism:
At the end of this journey, no one is trying to change Barbie, she chooses to change herself, and she makes an effort and takes steps to do so. The reason why she wants to change is not because she thinks she is wrong or corrupt, but only because she wants to change. Of course, during his journey, he realises that many things he thought to be true do not reflect the reality; he realises that being perfect is not what makes him who he is and is not a necessity as he thought. But still, no one pushes her to change, no one imposes an idea on her, no one saves her, no one forces her to take action. Her change happens completely on her own will, in her own time and in her own way. This is probably the most feminist thing in the film, because ideologies such as feminism can be interpreted differently in society, on the internet and in works of art. Sometimes it is shown that feminism can be achieved by belittling men and glorifying women. At other times, we are exposed to themes such as feminism should be like this and you should be like this to be a “right woman”. However, when we watch a film, regardless of gender, it is much more constructive for us to see that our main character grows up, matures, and if there is going to be a change, it is much more constructive for us to feel the change she experiences and adopt the idea presented. So, can Barbie herself be a feminist icon as she is advertised and wanted to be?
Acting in the film “Barbie”:
If we need to briefly discuss the other actors in the film “Barbie”; America Ferrera as Gloria plays a modern woman who has married, become a mother and works. In fact, Gloria is in the real world what our stereotypical Barbie is in Barbie Land. Of course, just like Barbie, Gloria questions herself and her position in life. Unfortunately, although the story of the film starts with Gloria, we do not see Gloria undergo a great inner transformation at the end. Nevertheless, the fact that they made America Ferrera say the dialogues that may seem the most didactic in the film through Gloria is a challenging task for the actress because she can easily be criticized. However, we can say that Ferrera does justice to the role and the monologues.
Kate McKinnon stars as the “weird” Barbie. There are probably few actresses in Hollywood who would not look embarrassed playing such an absurdly funny and bizarre character, and Kate McKinnon is certainly one of them. Weird Barbie is not only responsible for the absurd comedy in the film; she is also the Morpheus of the film “Barbie”. In other words, she is the one who guides Neo to the real world in “The Matrix”, and she is the one who guides Barbie on her journey to the real world in this film. Of course, the expected jokes about this are not left out.
Screenplay of the film “Barbie”:
In the film “Barbie”, we can say that the story gives the idea it wants to tell in a tidy way in general lines without leaving any doubt. However, when we go into details, the film has some repetitive ideas and scenes that make us feel that the film is too long. In some places, the jokes are quite appropriate and funny; in others, despite the age limit of 13, you feel that some of the film’s jokes are written with children in mind.
Despite this, “Barbie” is a film that is aware of what it is. In other words, it doesn’t aim to be a festival film or an art film rather than a box office film, and it doesn’t have a problem with that. Yes, it has a problem and gives the message it wants to express, but it does not claim that it will not be a blockbuster film with the goal of gaining a place in popular culture, which it has already achieved. For this very reason, we are watching a standard hero’s journey story like in a classic Hollywood film.