Barbie Addresses the Unimportance of Perfection by Being Imperfect

More than half a century after one of the most iconic toys in history made its debut, Barbie finally hits the big screen. Barbie tells a story of self-discover, taking Barbie on a journey through Barbieland into the real world. Confronted by the harsh reality that the world is not the perfect utopia she always thought it to be, Barbie must face problems that never even existed as a concept to her.

Directed by Greta Gerwig with her impressive record of movies such as Lady Bird and Little Women, Barbie is a fantasy comedy movie with a touch of social commentary, not shying away from making jokes about themselves and fully embracing it. To compliment the idea of childhood and joy that is commonly associated with the product line, Barbie is filled with stunning and bright visuals, borderlining on cartoonish and bringing out the vibrant energy to blunt the blows of the uncomfortable social themes that it frequently touches upon.

Barbie assembled an enormous cast for the various Barbie and Ken with each of them having different roles and personality as Mattel has been selling their toys with diversity in their mind. The contrast between the Barbie (Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling) serves as an important factor in their journey to understand their own purpose in a very simple and straightforward story. Gosling responded to criticisms regarding his casting as Ken back then due to his age with “Nobody cared about Ken” and this indeed is how Ken is portrayed. Needless to say, Gosling steals the spotlight in every scene that he appears in and this movie is the perfect opportunity for him to showcase his acting skills in an unfamiliar genre that viewers are familiar with.

The tagline of marketing for Barbie claims that this movie is for both people who love and hate Barbie, yet there is nothing particularly selling for those who already dislike the toy and the story certainly is not going to be enough when majority of the characters are in fact based on the toy. A glaring issue from Barbie comes from a high profile actor who plays a character that is out of place in both Barbieland and the real world and ultimately makes you question the whole purpose of the character. With that being said, the average movie viewer who does not hold strong opinions against the product line can definitely find enjoyment with the charming cinematography direction.

Just as Barbie drives the point that no one is meant to be perfect, this is not a perfect movie and that is not a problem. In fact it is refreshing to see a well known intellectual property given the care and love it deserves on the big screen in an era where movie studios are prone to take a well beloved franchise for a quick money grab leaving their long-standing fans dissatisfied.