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The Lasso

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The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

6. Barbie 7.5/10

“Barbie” was truly an inescapable phenomenon last year. From the viral memes, iconic costume design, and larger than life performances, it was truly amazing to see Greta Gerwig bring to life the Barbie brand into a billion dollar film. Even though I have respect for the film from an intellectual standpoint, I have to say, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the film from a storyline standpoint. In my opinion, the screenplay’s attempts at addressing deeper social issues often feel forced and lacking in depth. Gerwig’s inclusion of social commentary on topics such as gender inequality and consumerism feels shoehorned into the narrative, resulting in superficial exploration that does not contribute meaningfully to the story. This inconsistency diminishes the impact of these important issues and prevents the screenplay from engaging in a more nuanced and thoughtful discourse. The film also makes the odd choice to only focus on Margot Robbie’s Barbie and Rylan Gosling’s Ken and treats the other Barbie and Ken’s as glorified background characters, rather than fully fleshed out supporting characters like they were intended to be. America Ferrera’s Gloria ends up falling short as an effective character in the plot as she also never feels like a fully fleshed out character with a character arc like Robbie and Gosling’s respective characters go through. As a result, it makes her now viral monologue at the end of ‘How Hard It Is to Be a Woman’, fall flat because I don’t feel we got to learn enough about her as a character to really dig deep and connect with the words she said, even though the scene it is very well acted by Ferrera.  Even with these criticisms, there is still a lot to like about Barbie. I loved the set design of the film, the way Barbieland was created and constructed was very well realized and brought me back to a time when I was a child and would play with Barbies. The costume design of the film is gorgeous, particularly all of Barbie’s outfits which were very well put together and fit the overall aesthetic of Barbie. The performances from the cast were amazing and everyone involved, no matter how small their role might have been, gave it their all. To me, Ryan Gosling gives a standout performance as Ken, truly turning Ken from being a ‘stupid bimbo on the script, into a fully nuanced, heartfelt and complex character towards the end. Margot Robbie also gives a good performance, giving a heartfelt and soulful portrayal of Barbie, which is a hard task to do as an actress playing a fictional doll.  Overall, I do have respect for this film and the cast and crew who made it, I just wasn’t the biggest fan of the storyline in this film. 

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