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  • Writer's pictureKen Silvers

Barbie


Who among us could have imagined a movie based on a famous doll would have dominated the summer movie box office when facing off with fast cars, superheroes, Indian Jones, and Tom Cruise among others? I think we were all surprised. Nevertheless, the doll Barbie, full name Barbie Millicent Roberts, crushed the summer box office with the power of a pink Godzilla. The doll, created in 1959 was joined by Ken, full name Kenneth Sean Carson, himself created in 1961, made for a pink summer. When I went to the theater I saw women and girls, dressed in pink having a blast. So many fans had a blast ,"Barbie" the movie is the biggest box office hit directed by a woman in history. Barbie is played by Margot Robbie and her counterpart Ken is portrayed by Ryan Gosling, and the two actors prove to be perfectly cast. Robbie plays "Stereotypical" Barbie and Gosling is "Beach" Ken. The film opens in Barbieland where all types of Barbie and Ken's reside, along with only one Allan (Michael Cera), who was a discontinued friend of Ken. We see a typical day in Barbieland where all the Barbies hold important positions, including President, and are self-sufficient. Meanwhile, the Kens only participate in recreational activities and are basically window dressing for the Barbies. Beach Ken is only happy when he has the full attention of Barbie and desires a closer relationship with her. However, Barbie is against the idea and rebuffs Ken's idea in favor of a more independent lifestyle. During one of her parties Barbie mentions if any of the Barbies and Kens ever think about death, stopping the party "dead", and leaving the others in shock. When she awakens the next day, Barbie is unable to complete her usual tasks, and her feet are now flat. When Barbie goes to Weird Barbie (Kate McKinnon), a wise outcast, she is told she must go to the real world and find the child playing with her in order to be cured. Barbie reluctantly agrees and heads to the real world with surprise stowaway Ken in tow. When the two arrive in Venice Beach, CA, they get into antics that alert the CEO of Mattel (Will Farell) who orders the two to be captured and "reboxed". While Barbie finds her owner Sasha (Genvieve Toussaint) she discovers the tween no longer needs her. Meanwhile, Ken sees how men behave in the real world and realizes he has been conned by Barbie on how he should behave. Ken heads back to Barbieland to tell the other Kens how they can take control and be the real leaders of Barbieland. While she is still in the real world, Barbie is being chased by men of Mattel, but eludes them and heads back to Barbieland with Sasha and her mom Gloria (America Ferrera), When the trio arrive, they see how the Kens have taken over and Barbie becomes depressed. However, Gloria is able to save the day by encouraging Barbie, and let's just say Barbieland is soon back to normal, but will include better treatment for the Kens and the outcast dolls. The film does a wonderful job of addressing inequality without pounding us over the head, and leaves most of us thinking about how we can positively address the issues dealt with in the film in our world. Yes, the film is still fun, has hilarious moments, and even resulted in Gosling hitting the music charts with his song "I'm Just Ken". The actors in the film are all perfectly cast, and frankly Gosling stole the film with his on-the-spot performance. I really can't imagine anyone else as Barbie other than Robbie, other than maybe Reese Witherspoon. I am here to say "Barbie" is not just a film for women, but one to be enjoyed by all. Now playing in theaters. (Rated PG-13)

5/5


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