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The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

Review – “Barbie”

Mattel’s iconic doll brought to life in well-made, down-to-earth movie

 Barbie has been considered an icon throughout the last 64 years. From being plastic to taking on the big screen, everyone knows the name “Barbie.” This summer, audiences were able to see this icon come to life as the film “Barbie” was released on July 21, 2023 and has made an astounding $1.03 billion worldwide so far. The 1 hour and 54

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minute flick has broken numerous records, as well as being the two lead actors’ highest-grossing movie, and for good reason. The movie was a great one even before its premier, and I think it deserves a lot of the love it has gotten since its release.

The movie stars Margot Robbie, who previously starred in hits like “Suicide Squad” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” as Stereotypical Barbie, whose daily life is almost perfect in every way, from her outfits always being perfectly coordinated to effortlessly floating off her Dreamhouse. Even Barbie’s counterpart, Stereotypical Ken, played by Ryan Gosling, known for his roles in movies like “The Notebook” and “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” seems to be just the perfect guy for Barbie.

However, things don’t stay perfect for very long. Barbie starts to notice unusual things happening in her usually perfect day, the biggest hiccup being her feet turning from their iconic high-heeled point to flat. Because of this, Barbie is forced to set off on a journey to the real world, per the instructions of Weird Barbie, played by Kate McKinnon. On her way to the real world, Ken sneaks along to help Barbie on her adventure to find out what is wrong with her. While the two are there, they see just how different the real world is from BarbieLand. They also meet Shasha, played by Ariana Greenblatt, and Shasha’s mom, Gloria, played by America Ferrera. The two help Barbie on her adventure to find out why she is no longer the so-called “perfect” Barbie.

With the way the plot was written, I really enjoyed the script of the movie. I think the script was engaging because it was complex, but it still felt like the Barbies were dolls that were being played with by little kids. Some interactions showed things in BarbieLand that were very Barbie-like, like when Ken scared Barbie while she was driving, causing the car to spin numerous times in the air before perfectly landing on the ground, just like how a child would enact while playing with dolls. There were also lots of witty references to the history of Barbie dolls, like when Allan said, “I’m Ken’s buddy,” and “All his clothes fit me,” which were phrases originally printed on the box when he was released. I think all of that was a good addition for a comedy aspect in a semi-serious movie, which is sometimes hard to come by.

Another part of the movie I thought was a good addition was the outfits, specifically of Margot Robbie. All of her outfits were stunning, from the actual film to the campaign. While touring, Robbie wore outfits that were reminiscent of iconic Barbie fashion pieces, including a dress similar to the swimsuit Barbie first appeared in when she was released in 1959. Even though they weren’t exact replicas, it was still interesting to see a spin on iconic Barbie outfits. The wardrobe in the movie was also awesome because they looked like outfits you could find a Barbie doll wearing, and my personal favorite outfit was the blue one Barbie wore when visiting Weird Barbie for the first time because it was a really cute outfit and something I could see being put on a Barbie doll.

Infographic by Libby Winn

Something else that stuck out to me were the discontinued Barbies and Kens included in the movies. I thought it was a great way to add to the movie and not just stick to the normal Barbies that were successful, and it was funny to hear the narrator explain the background of the discontinued Barbies.

The final and probably most important thing that I enjoyed, that I always look for in films, is the acting. I think everyone did a phenomenal job, acting like the Barbies and Kens or real-world people they really were. But Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling really amazed me the most with their ability to embody their characters. Robbie showed that her Barbie had a great day every day in the beginning, yet she had very raw emotion throughout the movie, especially with the confusion that came from traveling to the real world only to figure out that things weren’t what they thought and her distress when she returned to BarbieLand to find it in shambles. Gosling also did a great job. I know a lot of people doubted his ability to play Ken because this role was unlike anything he has ever played, but I don’t think anyone should have doubted him. His acting was very spot-on to Ken being made to be Barbie’s boyfriend, and he showed how upset Ken was when he originally realized Barbie was made to be her own individual doll, not his girlfriend, which he expressed in his emotional yet catchy song “I’m Just Ken.”

Overall, “Barbie” was a great watch, and I’d recommend it to anyone, especially if you were someone who played with Barbie dolls when you were younger. It’s not exactly a kid’s movie, but I think the portrayal of the dolls being dolls while still having feelings was written very well and gave viewers something to appreciate. Even if you just want to listen to the iconic “I’m Just Ken” scene, I suggest giving this movie a watch.

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About the Contributor
Libby Winn, Junior writer
Libby is a junior and in her third year of journalism. She enjoys writing stories and editing photos. Outside journalism, Libby is involved in cheerleading, NHS and FBLA.
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