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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Movies with Tarek – ‘Barbie’


“I haven’t been in a box in ages.” Those words are from Margot Robbie, who plays Barbie in the new movie of the same name. And it’s Barbie outside the box that makes Barbie full of color and grandeur.

Directed and written by Greta Gerwig and co-written by Noah Baumbach (Gerwig’s husband), Barbie is a unique experience in a world of pure happiness and perfection. But when a sign of turmoil comes around the corner, the positive world is challenged by some darkness. It never becomes that dark, though, because the directing and writing of Gerwig brings joy throughout this wonderful and unusual film.

Barbie is set in Barbie Land, a place where real life ceases to exist. It is a wonder world with many people named Barbie and Ken. The main Barbie and Ken are Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, two actors perfectly cast for these eccentric and uplifting characters. Helen Mirren is the narrator, and her narration starts the film off as if there is never sadness in Barbie Land. It is just happy, happy, happy all the time, and negativity is never mentioned. That is, until Barbie asks, “Do you guys ever think about dying?” From there, all bets are off. The turmoil of her curiosity takes Barbie Land into strange places, and to explore her true emotions Barbie must travel outside Barbie Land to the real world. Ken goes with her, and they enter a world that they know absolutely nothing about.

The interesting part of Barbie and Ken’s trip into the real world is their realization that there are now real-life consequences. And this realization is the source of many silly moments, unexpected situations, and fun topics that enliven the film. Barbie meets Gloria, played by America Ferrera, in the real world, and she turns out to be a trustworthy human who helps her realize what must be done to find truth in herself. The race is on as a crazy Mattel CEO (played by Will Ferrell) makes it his goal to get Barbie back as a marketing tool—by putting her in a box again. We also meet Allan, played by Michael Cera, a shy, introverted, and socially awkward guy. He’s one of many characters that will make for quirky times for audiences around the world. The colors of joy thrive in the film, and they help make Barbie a magic sensation.

Helen Mirren’s narration is also one of the features of Barbie that will really draw audiences in. Her humor comes through in unexpected moments, and the film finds its wonderful vibes in her twisted and poetic narration.

There’s no question that the many artistic moments in Barbie are because of Greta Gerwig’s direction. She also directed Lady Bird, and she knows how to bring characters together. I felt like some of the fragments dragged just a little, but overall Barbie is smart, fun, and definitely a wild ride.

Three stars for Barbie.

Tarek Fayoumi
Tarek Fayoumihttp://movieswithtarek.com
Tarek Fayoumi is the creator and lead critic of movieswithtarek.com. He also contributes to Medium.com, is an approved critic of Bananameter, and a member of the Chicago Indie Critics (CIC) and Independent Film Critics of America.