Barbie (2023) Movie: About Feminism & Other Progressive Ideas

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Barbie movie is from one of the well-known female writers and directors Greta Gerwig from Hollywood. Barbie is an iconic doll – loved and collected by young girls around the world.

So, given this kind of backdrop, Greta has done an admirable job of writing a smart woman-centric story and directing a smarter womanhood movie to highlight female issues. Even when Greta is directing a film about a very well-known corporate brand; by walking the tightrope and pushing the envelope, she has done a fairly good job in this fantasy film that highlights some of the important gender and other social issues.

Greta Gerwig is well-known for directing women-focused films, such as, Lady Bird (2017) and Little Women (2019).

“It’s a real privilege to make films and I hope to make films that touch people or connect with people in some way.”

Greta Gerwig

Synopsis (summary) of this 2023 movie about women & feminism

To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you’re a Ken. When Barbie (Margot Robbie) suffers a crisis that leads her to question her world and her existence.

Spoilers Free review of the Barbie (2023) movie

The opening scene of this film

The opening scene of this film is really interesting, we not only hear the evocative voice of actor Helen Mirren but we also get introduced to a giant doll Barbie (in the original 1959 black and white bathing suit worn by the original doll – picture shared above) tower over little girls tired of playing with their baby dolls of various kinds. This particular film scene pays homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey – an epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. And this really sets the ambitious tone of this movie about the girl’s power.

Barbie-Land in the film

Then, we are transported to the feminist utopia of ‘Barbie-Land’ and get introduced to the different versions of the said doll character (their details shared in the spoilers below) and Kens dolls living in that fantasy land. This dream world is controlled, dominated, managed and ruled by females – the different avatars of the said doll character and her group of friends. On the other hand, the males – the diverse variants of Kens and Allan are there as supportive characters. And this is indeed an interesting scenario.

When Barbie and Ken visit L.A.

Just when we thought, everything was hunky dory. Margot Robbie (Stereotypical Barbie) starts getting disturbing thoughts about death and her identity crisis. To look for solutions, Kate McKinnon (Weird Barbie) asks Margot Robbie to travel to Los Angeles (L.A.) and find the underlying reasons for her destructive thoughts. This is when Margot really sets herself on the path of self-discovery. When Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling (Ken) visit L.A. in 2023, they find out that “Men run the world” in reality. The patriarchal thoughts and other shocking cases that the duo come across in L.A. are indeed thought-provoking.

Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, etc.

The prominent actors in this film – Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera (Gloria) and Kate McKinnon have done a great job of conveying the vision of this insightful tale about women and womanhood. The monologue by Gloria is really well written and excellently delivered by the actor America Ferrera in this film. Again, check the spoilers shared below both texts and video-clip, in case, you wish to know more about it.

Its two lead actors – Margot Robbie (Barbie) and Ryan Gosling (Ken) have been delightful.

Boasts some foot-tapping music

The popular and good-quality music is another highlight of this hit movie.

I have shared the YouTube video links of these four songs above.

Women still fighting for equality in the real world

Even now, the TV news cycles around the world are dominated by the fight for equal rights by women folks around the world, for instance, the news of the abortion ban in the United States, the news of the late Mahsa Amini case in Iran, the news of strike by the World Cup Winning Women’s Football Team in Spain, the news of Women’s wrestlers in India, etc.

The fight for gender equality is a long and lengthy one. It has been going on for years. And this is going to continue for many years to come.

The conclusion

This Barbie film is just another stepping stone in the right direction. One of the good things is that its content made many men angry. Many of them did not like the status of men folks in the Barbie Land, as mere decorative props. Perhaps, one of the reasons, it did not do so well in India.

To conclude, one can say that all in all, it is an intelligent film that uses Barbie to push the ideas of change in our society and our world, which is currently being dominated by men.

Ratings of this 2023 movie about women & feminism

Rating: 4 out of 5.
FM’s rating4.00/5
FM’s ratings – Barbie (2023) film.
 Barbie film has become the first-ever billion-dollar film solely directed by a female director Greta Gerwig.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine something like this." ~ says Greta on Barbie's success.

Spoilers Alert – about thoughtful monologue & many Barbies in it

Monologue about the impossible double standards of being a woman

Actor America Ferrera (who plays Gloria) delivers a powerful monologue about the impossible double standards of being a woman in today’s world in this 2023 film

Gloria’s monologue | Video:-

So many Barbie (B) characters in this film, and let us learn about them.

In this film, one of the characters commented on how Barbie represented “sexualized capitalism,” setting the feminist movement back decades.

  1. Margot Robbie plays “Stereotypical B”,
  2. Kate McKinnon plays “Weird B”,
  3. Issa Rae plays “President B”,
  4. Hari Nef plays “Doctor B”,
  5. Alexandra Shipp plays “Writer B”,
  6. Emma Mackey plays “Physicist B”,
  7. Sharon Rooney plays “Lawyer B”,
  8. Ana Cruz Kayne plays “Judge B”,
  9. Dua Lipa plays all the “Mermaid B”,
  10. Nicola Coughlan plays “Diplomat B”, and
  11. Ritu Arya plays “Journalist B”.

In addition, this film does take a potshot at Mattel’s corporate head honchos too, as Margot Robbie is astonished to find out that Will Ferrell (Mattel’s CEO) in the real world is a middle-aged white man, who gets to decide the fate of famous young female doll brands known world-wide.

{The same is true for the Ken character, however, we shall not discuss Ken here.}

Key details of this 2023 movie about women & feminism

GenreComedy, Fantasy
Original languageEnglish (USA)
Age-restrictionsUA (PG 13+)
ReleaseJuly / September 2023
Duration1 hour 54 minutes
WritersGreta Gerwig & Noah Baumbach
DirectorGreta Gerwig
CastMargot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman, Will Ferrell, Michael Cera, Simu Liu, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ariana Greenblatt, etc.
TaglinesShe’s everything. He’s just Ken.
DistributorsWarner Brothers Pictures
About – Barbie (2023) film.

Poster of this 2023 movie about women & feminism

Barbie (2023) film – poster.

A monologue from this 2023 movie about women & feminism

Actor America Ferrera (who plays Gloria) delivers a powerful monologue about the impossible double standards of being a woman in today’s world in this 2023 film.

Gloria’s monologue | Texts:-

It is literally impossible to be a woman. 

You are so beautiful, and so smart, and it kills me that you don't think you're good enough. 

Like, we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we're always doing it wrong. 

You have to be thin, but not too thin. And you can never say you want to be thin. 

You have to say you want to be healthy, but also you have to be thin. 

You have to have money, but you can't ask for money because that's crass. 

You have to be a boss, but you can't be mean. 

You have to lead, but you can't squash other people's ideas. 

You're supposed to love being a mother, but don't talk about your kids all the damn time. 

You have to be a career woman but also always be looking out for other people.

You have to answer for men's bad behavior, which is insane, but if you point that out, you're accused of complaining. 

You're supposed to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or that you threaten other women because you're supposed to be a part of the sisterhood.

But always stand out and always be grateful. But never forget that the system is rigged. So find a way to acknowledge that but also always be grateful.

You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line. 

It's too hard! It's too contradictory and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you! 

And it turns out in fact that not only are you doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault.

I'm just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us. 

And if all of that is also true for a doll just representing women, then I don't even know.

Trailer of this 2023 movie about women & feminism

Main Trailer – Barbie (2023) film – WB | YouTube.

If you like watching the hit movie of 2023 from the USA, then check out our article about the Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One film, too.

Featured and Other images from Barbie movie courtesy of Warner Brothers.

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