Barbie - Reviewed by Alessia Belsito-Riera | Regional News Connecting Wellington



114 minutes

(4 out of 5)

Reviewed by: Alessia Belsito-Riera

We have been bombarded with media surrounding the release of the much-awaited Barbie movie. From billboards to press tours, bus-stop posters to teaser trailers, from Dua Lipa’s hit song Dance The Night playing on our airwaves to the infamous “She’s everything. He’s just Ken” tagline posts.

Love it or hate it, I’d like to officially extend a very warm, aggressively pink welcome to Barbie Land… no, not to you Ken.

Barbie Land is a dream. The streets are lined with Barbie Dream Houses – did I mention the streets are pink? The clothes are impeccable and beautiful, the weather is always sunny, the Barbies and Kens are perfect and perpetually happy, and every day is the best day ever. Until Stereotypical Barbie (Margot Robbie) starts having thoughts about death and her feet go flat. What ensues is a riotous, eye-opening, world-changing, mind-blowing adventure into the real world for both Barbie and her Ken (Ryan Gosling, who steals the show).

It was hard avoiding spoilers, so if you have succeeded thus far, I will let you discover this plastic fantastic world for yourself. But that’s easy, because the true heroes of Barbie are not the dolls but the production team. Sarah Greenwood’s production design is so meticulous, so perfect, so utterly researched it should be deemed the eighth wonder… okay maybe not, but the entire team ensured every detail in Barbie Land is essentially a replica of the actual toys. I offer the same praise to Jacqueline Durran’s costume design. The amount of work that these two departments must have done to achieve the end result is simply mind-boggling.

Director, producer, and writer Greta Gerwig, a feminist icon of our generation, has outdone herself yet again. Barbie is a satire, a tribute, a critique, an adventure, and everything in between. It is so self-aware in its simultaneous championing and condemnation of consumerism, beauty standards, gender roles, existentialism, and more. A new addition to the feminist canon, the mere existence of a movie like Barbie means we have made leaps and bounds as a society. It has its flaws, of course, but it’s fun, it’s beautiful, and it has something to say.

This Barbie highly recommends the movie.

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