Barbie is Surprisingly Well-received. Here’s Why.

Barbie - margot robbie

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The Barbie movie that was set to release on July 20th, 2023 has acquired quite a significantly large sum of the revenue stream in just a month, with a (now) total of $1 billion at the global box office. The movie has successfully attracted a large audience to watch it, thanks to the insane effort done by both the marketing team in the film studio and the public themselves in promoting Barbie.

Ideally, if the movie has made such massive sales, surpassing that of Warrner’s Bros. Movie “The Dark Knight”, it must be *that* good, no? We have decided it would be nice to check the movie out and see what it has to offer, and perhaps we can come to a verdict that everyone who watches it can agree on.

The Plot

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The movie starts with a surprisingly LARGE Barbie doll (giga Margot Robbie) towering over the children who were minding their business — playing with their dolls. Supposedly, this was orchestrated to represent how children “look up” to these Barbie dolls, and that they (presumably) inspire all the young children that they can do and be anything they want. Can they?

As unfortunate as I would like to put it, the “Real World” (as described by the Barbies and Kens) is more complicated than what it seems to appear to the dolls. This movie focuses on the striking difference between the simplistic Barbie World and the Real World by showing the unforeseen effects that the ‘inspiration’ Barbie delivered surfaced.

The moment we saw how Barbie shed her first tear upon meeting her supposed master (whom she thought was the one playing her) — Sasha (starred by Ariana Greenblatt) — who completely shattered her and her unidealistic views of the world (even to the point of calling her a “Pink Bimbo” and that ‘inspiration’ gave such false hopes to the women living in the “patriarchal world”, we were stunned.

I believe the scene carries a strength in evoking emotions out of Stereotype Barbie (yes, that is the name of the primary Barbie doll/character) because previously she has always been seen to have bright smiles and cheerful attitude, despite some of the noticeable harsh treatment she had been giving to Stereotype Ken and after being treated harshly by the men in the “Real World”.

The movie plot is generally easy to follow. There is no need for the audience to have a background understanding of the characters, nor any events occurring before the movie (because there is none to begin with). This movie is meant for both casual movie enjoyers and Barbie enthusiasts. Not to mention that the movie does not have twisted plots and puzzling encounters that would otherwise require the audience to put the pieces together to understand the movie, so they wouldn’t be called ‘dummies’ by their enthusiastic-Barbie-enjoyer friend for not being able to keep up (Marve- *cough* *cough*).

The Movie Theme

Picture taken from https://image.tmdb.org/t/p/original/tTfnd2VrlaZJSBD9HUbtSF3CqPJ.jpg

There is a reason why the movie was rated PG-13. The theme of this movie, though initially appeared as family-friendly, has elements which can only be understood by older audiences. The movie is set to put the viewers in the eye of the Stereotype Barbie, who has only seen in her view of the “Barbie World” as “being perfect”, and does not want changes (putting the other party [Ken] at a disparagement). In her views, she believes that women control everything, suggesting hints of feminism and matriarchal society.

As the movie progress, however, this belief and perception begin to shift and sway as she progresses throughout the movie, from venturing out to the “Real World” (where the treatment she received as “a woman” is very contrasting to the Barbie World) to the attempts she made to restore the ‘tarnished’ “Barbie World” due to the effects of Barbie World and “Real World” conflicting.

The idea of projecting both matriarchy and patriarchy in the movie is delivered excellently with the concept of “Barbie World” and “Real World”, with no sense of forced beliefs or ideologies embedded in the film (which is welcoming, especially when compared to the mainstream movies where they try to adapt forced beliefs and ideologies in their movies to adapt to the current trends).

The idea of the movie is very well made and shows the audience the perception of the two ideologies to ensure they understand. There is no ‘real’ antagonist in the movie; it is merely two conflicting doctrines and supremacy that neither of the parties fully condones. Also, the message of encouraging the public to see their worth in themselves and not in others, or in the things they own, or their surroundings (stereotypes), as well as to find their purpose instead of chasing the dreams of being just like everyone else is presented very well in the movie. It is an excellent message to imbue in children, too.

Verdict

The movie performs very well in conveying messages about mediocrity, extremism, and stereotypes, all of which are addressed in the real world. The hype behind this movie is not just from the outstanding effort done by the marketing team, but also the overall quality of the movie that balances well between the set tone or mood and the plot that has its critical moments (not to mention that the Barbie movie hoisted Oppenheimer’s reputation in its glory as well).

I recommend it, both for the memes and for enjoying watching movies in general. The movie itself has some moments, even ones that I find embarrassing and awkward to watch as a 23-year-old man, and the overall plot is delivered excellently. As an average movie enjoyer, it is an easy 9/10.

Author

  • Muhammad Hariz

    A ’00 Malaysian freelance writer for MugenMilano. Occasionally writes for fun; otherwise, going to the gym and playing video games would be the R&R for Hariz. Having a keen interest in the area of gaming and technology, Hariz’s written materials would mostly be tech-related and gaming news, particularly in adventure, horror, and fighting genre. Doesn’t stop him from writing other interesting topics, though, as long as it is worth checking out.

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