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Barbenheimer, the World sees Pink. Barbie (2023) | Review

This review was a difficult one, it was a challenge to get all my thoughts onto the paper. For months all I've seen is Barbenheimer, all the world has seen is pink. The marketing campaign for this project has been fierce, dominating the media and completely original. I have been quietly excited for this film for a long time and now that it's here, I feel a little underwhelmed.


I’ve easily been waiting and anticipating this film for over a year, it would be an understatement to say my expectations were high. Greta Gerwig has a talent for combining serious storylines with something light hearted and satirical and she used that vision within Barbie. From beginning to end this film has an undertone, a message beneath the words. Sometimes, the ‘hidden’ meaning is incredibly on the nose and often it could go amiss. I enjoyed the efforts to bring reality into the Barbie world, bringing out societal problems into a place of perfection but that wasn’t at all what I was expecting. Barbie (2023) definitely surprised me, it didn’t play on the silliness or the ridiculousness as much as I anticipated; and wanted. This film turned the idea of ‘Barbie’ on its head and by doing this, I found it over complicated the story and became quite messy at times.


There is no denying the production value and sheer aesthetic was magnificent to watch. The sets, the costumes, the props were like stepping into a dream and easily my favourite elements to the film. The cast were also perfect, Robbie and Gosling brought unique performances to their repertoire. In saying that, I felt as though the film was overstimulated, too many characters and too many intentions which didn’t compliment each other. The Mattel CEO and his minions felt like such an unnecessary storyline which took us away from Barbie and her development.


Throughout Barbie (2023) she and the other characters have strong views on feminism and how the world should work. In Barbieland, the women do all the work, so when Barbie is thrown into the real world she sees this isn’t the case and it gives Ken an excuse to abuse and embrace his masculinity. Ironically, the Barbie movie had a strong concentration on Ken’s story and development, I feel as though he had more ab a character arc than Barbie herself. I think a primary problem I have is the involvement of the ‘real’ world, this element is why the film felt messy to me. If we’d stayed in Barbieland and been exposed to threats and ‘real’ problem it could have flowed a lot easier. The story was original, Barbie turning more ‘human’ was a unique spin but again, didn’t necessarily make sense when jumping from real to fake.


Overall, I feel conflicted. I would have said I was Barbie’s number one fan before the film came out. With an unforgettable marketing campaign, Barbie was on all our minds but after watching… I feel a slight disappointment. I think to your average movie goer this film is a dream, it’s like nothing we’ve seen before and can be considered a piece of experimental cinema. In saying that, it lacked in overall development and although Barbie moved on with her life, I feel like something was majorly missing within the messy and clunky story.

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Welcome to Film Probe, a platform where I have dedicated my time and energies to reviewing films, tv and more. I pride myself on offering more than just an opinion, but rather a carefully crafted insight into the film's themes, characters, and overall production.

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