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Margot Robbie Is a Doll in Sensible, Human Satire

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The Pitch: On daily basis is a superb day for Barbie (Margot Robbie). She wakes up in her Dreamhouse, takes a bathe, places on a wonderful outfit, after which heads out to spend time along with her buddies, who’re all named Barbie, and are all the time completely satisfied to see her. That’s life in Barbieland for you, all the time the identical and all the time excellent… Till the day comes when Barbie wakes up, and her day isn’t fairly excellent. Small issues go improper, and he or she finds herself haunted by endless ideas of loss of life — not regular stuff for a Barbie.

Luckily, Bizarre Barbie (Kate McKinnon, normally doing the splits) is ready to diagnose the issue: Each Barbie in Barbieland has a corresponding lady within the Actual World who performs along with her, and one thing is clearly improper with our Barbie’s playmate. So Barbie leaves Barbieland behind to voyage into the true world, and alongside for the trip is Ken (Ryan Gosling), who loves Barbie however is annoyed by the truth that each evening is ladies’ evening, and he or she by no means makes time for him. So, whereas Barbie is profitable to find her playmate, Ken’s spent somewhat an excessive amount of time within the Actual World studying about the best way issues work right here… and Barbieland might by no means be the identical.

C’mon Barbie Let’s Go Get together: Barbie is a magic trick, a stellar instance of a filmmaker taking a well-established little bit of company IP and utilizing it to ship a message loudly and clearly. That Greta Gerwig’s third solo movie as director additionally manages to be a giddy, foolish, and hilarious time is crucial to its energy, and the problem of this evaluate is thus making an attempt to discover how the magic trick works, whereas nonetheless preserving the flat-out awe I’ve at what it achieves.

In spite of everything, Barbie isn’t only a toy. It’s a model synonymous with femininity, loaded with pulsing pink energy; energy that’s been weaponized by anti-feminists over time whereas additionally ruthlessly attacked by feminists themselves. When you had been a woman with Barbies, you had been rising up with the concept of her as “the proper girl,” able to each potential occupation on the planet, however nonetheless largely outlined by her aesthetics, from her outfits to her equipment to her braidable hair to her excessive heels, for which her toes have been molded completely.

Gerwig and Noah Baumbach’s script acknowledges all of the criticisms that feminists have had for years (some extra superficially than others — the casting of a variety of physique sorts to play Barbieland Barbies doesn’t essentially make up for literal many years of unrealistic physique expectations). Then, nevertheless, it pushes a step additional into exploring the promise of Barbie, and the way good intentions don’t all the time lead to constructive change.

Among the ideas explored by Barbie will sound acquainted, with regards to the complexities that include being a modern-day fashionable ladies, as a result of feminists from Gloria Steinem to Liz Lemon have been articulating these themes for years now. Right here’s the factor — sure, the sophisticated paradox of being a lady inside the jail of society’s calls for is well-covered floor. The explanation we’re nonetheless speaking about these issues is that they haven’t gone away.

Barbie Review Margot Robbie

Barbie (Warner Bros.)

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