the fresh films reviews

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Barbie (2023)

Directed by:
Greta Gerwig



114 minutes

Produced by:
David Heyman
Margot Robbie
Tom Ackerley
Robbie Brenner
Written by:
Greta Gerwig
Noah Baumbach

Cast includes:

Barbie Margot Robbie ˝
Ken Ryan Gosling
Gloria America Ferrara ˝
Allan Michael Cera
Sasha Ariana Greenblatt ˝
Spirit of Ruth Handler Rhea Perlman
CEO of Mattel Will Ferrell ˝
Narrator Helen Mirren -
Aaron Dinkis, Mattel employee Connor Swindells -
CFO of Mattel Jamie Demetriou -
Weird Barbie Kate McKinnon ˝
Tourist Ken Simu Liu -
President Barbie Issa Rae -



The big summer blockbuster of 2023 is a wonderful visual spectacle with a great deal of creative physical comedy, centered in and around the universe of Barbie, Mattel's historic toy doll. Unfortunately, the film tries to be and do much more than what the filmmakers ultimately are able to control and reel in. That a movie about Barbie would be guilty of Americanization is no surprise, and in many ways more than befitting, but the Americanization here isn’t just about the history of the toy itself and all its cultural impacts – Barbie also views everything through the eyes of Hollywood anno 2023 – which arguably is a very particular and perhaps not that representative outlook. Instead of utilizing the fine foundation laid in the film's first third, director and co-writer Greta Gervig (Lady Bird, Little Women) gets herself lost in a trite, divisive and most likely futile battle of the sexes, which will leave youths – and perhaps particularly Europeans – feeling confused and conflicted. The filmmakers’ supposed toying with stereotypes ultimately becomes more of a playing into them, especially towards the end when Gerwig staggers along desperately looking for closure and something meaningful to say. Alas, Barbie has ended up as a rather sad symptom of our times, when it could have been the wonderfully funny piece of femininity-appraising escapism it started out as. There are nonetheless several highlights here, such as the delightfully absurd opening sequence (a fine nod to Kubrick's 2001), the initial introduction of Barbie and Ken’s days in Barbieland, and – of course – their first encounter with the real world.

Copyright © 28.07.2023 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang