It was Barbenheimer weekend and you can believe the hype for at least half over that double feature – “Barbie” is fantastic. It is a fun, clever feminist rush. And, unlike “Oppenheimer”, it comes in at under two hours long.
By now, you probably know the premise of the film. Barbie (Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling) live in Barbieland with all the other Barbies and Kens and all is wonderful… until it isn’t. I’ll save you from too many spoilers. Suffice it to say there are fantastic dance numbers and choreography, brilliant comedic moments and just the right amount of female rage. Perhaps the highest compliment you can pay this Greta Gerwig-created movie is that it deals with serious issues without ever taking itself too seriously. It is seriously, laugh-out-loud funny at a lot of points, and sincere without being saccharine at others. “Barbie” features some great cameos too.
The production for “Barbie” is incredible. All the sets resemble the toys many of us had as children. The attention to detail applied to both props and costumes is astounding. The ways that Barbieland and the real world are differentiated are particularly clever.
There is also a really lovely social dynamic happening around “Barbie”. Groups of girls clad in pink are going to the cinema to see it together. The extensive marketing campaign has really paid off and attending the film is a really fun shared experience. You are almost guaranteed to leave feeling good. I’m not sure it is going to quite save the box office, but “Barbie” is certainly trying its best!
“Barbie” shows what can be achieved if studios don’t just stick to making superhero movies or sequels. It is fizzing with originality. Let’s hope that, once the strikes currently bringing Hollywood to a standstill are over, more such movies are developed and released.
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