Movies & TV Series

Barbie's Bot-Free Brilliance Unleashed in the Heart of Capitalism

In the cavernous depths of capitalism, a cinematic marvel surfaces, radiating shockwaves of creativity and ingenuity. In the form of an unforgettable mainstream film comes Barbie, a testament to the flourishing spirit of creative inventiveness. Amidst the recent struggles of creative veterans fighting for rightful wages and a work environment free from the shadow of AI domination, Barbie emerges as a pink-splashed affirmation of the inimitable prowess and imaginative brilliance resting with human creators.

Consumer culture may have embraced the charm of self-awareness, and companies may revel in being part of the joke, but Barbie surpasses expectations. We owe this to the creative trio of writer-director Greta Gerwig, co-writer Noah Baumbach, and producer-star Margot Robbie, who enjoyed the solitude of the pandemic, steering the project clear from the intrusive hands of Warner Bros and Mattel executives.

The Innovative Working of Barbie

What emerges from this process is a unique amalgamation of references, naughtily poignant corporate satire, and dance moves reminiscent of Hollywood's musical heydays. Barbie flirts with the absurdity of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, yet its sincere and raw portrayal of womanhood is none but Gerwig's hallmark, reminiscent of Lady Bird and Little Women.

In a stroke of irony, we find ourselves with a cinematic gem that is indelibly linked to one of the globe's most beloved products. Barbie's success may indeed send Mattel's stocks soaring, but it underscores a peculiar paradox – the seemingly inseparable intertwining of art and hypocrisy in the embrace of consumerism. Isn't it fascinating that art occasionally flourishes amidst the clutches of capitalism? Gerwig, echoing her Little Women protagonist Jo March’s sentiments, captures this beautifully, punctuating the loneliness that exists amid the deeply-rooted societal expectations of women.

Barbie: A Powerful Commentary on Womanhood

The film carries an impactful monologue masterfully uttered by America Ferrera's commonsensical mum. Her words embody the tormenting dilemma engulfing women today. The precarious line between “girl-boss feminism” and outright misogyny, clubbed with the pressure to be wealthy, liberated, grateful, yet effortlessly poised, is an impossible predicament. Barbie's promise of endless possibilities for women now seems to bear the burdensome interpretation: “Women should be everything”.

The movie lands a well-executed jab through Helen Mirren’s opening proclamation, stating how Barbie has miraculously solved all issues surrounding feminism and equal rights. We then meet “the Stereotypical Barbie”, an eternally cheery, blonde vision portrayed by Margot Robbie, admirably supported by "beach"-bedecked Ken, enacted by Ryan Gosling. All seems flawless until death comes eerily knocking on Barbie's door.

Navigating the Real World with Barbie

Barbie’s mission to tackle this sudden surge of mortality leads her to "the Real World", where she encounters Mattel’s purely male-executive board. They believe they understand the needs and likes of little girls just because there once was a female CEO at their helm. This all-Mattel board’s interaction, peppered with absurd humor centered on Gosling and his Ken companions, serves as an interesting exploration of one’s self-perception nurtured by power and visibility.