Barbie Review: Breezy, Boisterous and Bizarre

Barbie Review: Breezy, Boisterous and Bizarre

Barbie Review: Breezy, Boisterous and Bizarre

Statutory Alert: You must know the history of Barbie to avoid landing in an existential crisis.

Welcome to Barbieland – the fantasy ridden home for the stereotypical ‘blonde’ Barbie (Margot Robbie) and her other ‘Barbie’ friends, underlined by matriarchy.

While they hold important positions, the male counterparts – the Ken (spearheaded by Ryan Gosling) engage in all silly recreations. While Ken is in love with Barbie, she rebuffs his advances, takes him for granted and constantly friend zones him. 

Things are hunky dory when existential crisis grips Barbie, she is saddled with the realization that she is becoming outcast, no longer wise and has flat feet and she must travel to the real world for the solution.

Accompanying her in the journey is Ken and together they straddle a multitude of antics and adventures, alarming the Mattel CEO (Will Farell). Barbie also realizes that Gloria, an employee of Mattel is the real cause of her identity crisis. Eventually, Gloria, her daughter Sasha and Barbie travel back to Barbieland, only to find that Ken, entrenched with deep-rooted patriarchal beliefs, has taken it over and renamed it as the Kendom and has his own Mojo Dojo Casa house.

Director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird, Little Women) stages an outrageously wild and funny world – she has co-written the film along with Noah Baumbach with full creative liberty and give an emotional pulse to the aesthetic and visually enchanting sets designed by Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer who draw inspiration from the mid-century modernist architecture. Jaqueline Durran's (she previously collaborated with Greta in 2019 for Little Women) costumes lend a strong impetus to Barbie’s persona and the film.

At the same time, it reeks of the overtones of feminism and soft touches of women liberation. Barbie and her gang emerging as scheming women who instigate the Kens to fight against each other is a classic example of muddled political diplomacy and subversion, where Gerwig does a balancing act.


Barbie final words

The rough edges of Barbie are glossed on by Robbie who is as earnest as she is humorous. It’s not easy to portray a character so soaked in the audience's nostalgia and Margot Robbie efficiently does that and conveys the ‘blonde’ wild and bafflingly beautiful ideas emanating from the protagonist. Ryan Gosling is fun to watch, particularly during the dance sequences - His Ken is flamboyant and cheerfully colorful.

I go with 3 stars out of 5 Barbie. Take your kids to the theatres near you and you will indeed have a rollicking time.


Rating : 3/5

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About Ahwaan Padhee

Ahwaan Padhee

Ahwaan Padhee, is an IT Techie/Business Consultant by profession and a film critic/cinephile by passion, is also associated with Radio Playback as well, loves writing and conducting movie quizzes. More By Ahwaan Padhee

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