Review: 'Barbie' sends mixed messages - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Review: 'Barbie' sends mixed messages

Barbie movie

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Abby Cowels

Three out of Five Stars

By Abby Cowels
Staff Writer

The 2023 film “Barbie,” delivers a feminist approach by dissecting protagonist Barbie as an idol for her prolific career and independence, and for her relationship to modern women who once had a Barbie of their own.

“Barbie is directed by Greta Gerwig (“Little Women,” 2019). It is currently available to view on Prime Video and Apple TV, as well as in select theaters. The blockbuster movie stars Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken.

I truly had no expectations walking into the theater, except that I had to see what everyone was talking about.

I felt an appreciation for the obvious deconstruction of modern archetypes, but because the dialogue was so rigid and shallow, it felt like the writers were trying too forcefully to control the characters within the film.

That lack of creativity makes sense, because you know, they are Barbies and Kens. We spent so much time creating their stories, it’s funny to see that portrayed in the film.

When our deuterogamists come in, the mother Gloria and her daughter Sasha, I was disappointed to see that same shallowness. It felt as if they were only to serve as a tool to help Barbie achieve her self-actualization.

In fact, this movie is only about the character Barbie: the classic white, blonde, conventional version of her.

The physical Barbie world was a clever and fun idea. It jogged my memory of things I had forgotten. It was very nostalgic and I laughed at every joke made. It was very entertaining.

However, I felt guilt. Why? Because in my opinion, this movie is for a very specific audience. It felt targeted and it isn’t inclusive to anything outside hetero relationships.

Specifically, is it geared to women who have ever dated, or known a man who probably believes masculinity is organized into social hierarchies and more than likely, entirely missed the motif of “Fight Club.”

It was an enjoyment to see all of these classic tropes criticized, but it only felt like that at times. It was like someone was standing in front of the movie screen giving a speech, but playing with Barbies. It was fun, though quite disengaging at times.

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