The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


Big Screen Barbie

3/5 Stars

Personally, I was more of a Bratz girl growing up. So, in preparation for the movie, I watched ‘Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper’. I skimmed through Barbie vlogs and watched the first episodes of the Life with Barbie home-video series on Youtube.
Let me tell you, I fell in love with it. I enjoyed seeing Barbie interact with her doll friends and family, hearing her non-stop genuine positivity, and watching as she confidently persisted to find a solution in the face of her hardships.

All my research was for naught, I concluded, as 2023’s ‘Barbie’ played out before me on the big screen.

Not only was I watching a version of Barbie that I did not know, but I was watching a film that I did not pay for. What trailers and clips advertised as a lighthearted and nostalgic comedy exploring the mechanics of a land full of Barbies, is actually an allegory planted in comedic soil, full of modern contemporary philosophy and a big blonde doll.

First, I do not know this Barbie. She is grown up. Complex and philosophical. I don’t hate this at all, but her complexities are not where the differences end. She is more whiny and negative, less hopeful and resilient. She is relatable.

Personally, I’m disappointed by this. I love the undefeatable Barbie, the hopeful Barbie. I love Barbie who is as kind as Cinderella and as sacrificial as Tiana for a dream that she believed in.

The second most glaringly obvious component of the Barbie movie is its commentary and metaphors. What is most entertaining about this aspect is the comedy used to cover up the seriousness behind its conversations. What is least entertaining is the discourse that they consequently brought about.

This fact alone has made ‘Barbie’ a lot more intriguing than a regular film to me.

My personal analysis of ‘Barbie’ is that it attempts to reach a non-extreme conclusion to the current gender conversation. It points out that no matter who is in charge, there will be oppression as long as there isn’t equal power for both genders. Yet simultaneously making a dig at men by alienating and mocking them through their stereotypes. In contrast, the film also encourages men to be in socially or legally submissive power roles from beginning to end. I found this hypocritical and unappealing to watch.

For the sake of simplicity, though, I’m focusing solely on the movie’s content.

‘Barbie’ is entertaining and hilarious. I also didn’t hate the mature struggles facing the main characters. However, this Barbie universe is a little too independent of its canon counterparts, I didn’t like its false advertisement, I and found various aspects a little obnoxious. 

Lastly, my biggest issue with the movie is its lack of ability to properly convey its themes. Or at least do so without hurting others. This stifled its potential and only encouraged unrest in a society yearning for social justice. And so I rate it ⅗ stars.

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