“Barbie” Unleashed From Life in the Dreamhouse to The Real World
“Barbie,” the fantasy comedy film directed by Greta Gerwig, proved to be a sensational hit with its stellar cast led by the remarkable Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken. Viewers are taken on a journey to Barbie Land and beyond as the film explores existential crises, gender roles, and the power of friendship. Here are the captivating aspects of the film that have made it an international sensation.
This Barbie Had A Stellar Cast
When Gerwig cast Robbie as Barbie, most people knew the film was going to be a hit because Robbie was born to play the role of the most famous doll on the planet. Not only does she look like a Barbie with the stereotypical blonde hair, blue eyes, and fit body, she smiles like one too. Besides aesthetics, Robbie has proven that she is more than just a pretty face. With Academy and Golden Globe nominations under her belt, she is one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood.
Her popularity has only grown thanks to the fanfare and PR surrounding the release of “Barbie.” In the film, Barbie (Robbie) begins to have an existential crisis, questioning her own mortality with her perfect feet falling flat. This leads her to travel to the real world in search of answers.
Gosling played the beloved Ken, Barbie’s love interest, and it is safe to say that he carried the film more than Margot ever did. His chiseled good looks along with an acclaimed acting career promised more complex character work than you might imagine from a film based on toys.
Ken is portrayed as a bit of a dolt whose only real job is “beach.” When Ken and Barbie traveled to “The Real World,” he saw the differences between the former and Barbie Land, and this leaves him in a state of shock because men dominated The Real World. For an actor in his 40s, Gosling surely played a wonderful, kindhearted, naive, and slightly annoying Ken!
Gerwig indeed was not shy about casting big names for this film. Asides from Robbie and Gosling, other actors had their time to shine in the form of being different versions of Barbie. Issa Rae, in her awesomeness, played the President Barbie. Hari Nef played Doctor Barbie, Kate McKinnon played Weird Barbie, Nichola Coughlan played Diplomat Barbie, Emma Mackey played Physicist Barbie (with a Nobel prize!), Alexandra Shipp was Writer Barbie, and Dua Lipa was Mermaid Barbie.
For every Barbie, there was a Ken, and there was an abundance of them! Simu Liu played Ken #2, Ryan Gosling’s rival for Barbie’s attention. Other Ken’s included Ncuti Gatwa, Kingsley Ben-Adir, and Scott Evans.
Will Ferrell played the CEO of Mattel who is shocked to learn that real-life versions of Barbie and Ken are active in Los Angeles. As always, he rented his comedic skills to the film for the sake of a good laugh.
America Ferrera played Gloria, a Mattel employee who, as a child, owned the main Barbie. She was the real reason why Barbie had an existential crisis in the beginning, and why she (Barbie) traveled all the way to the real world. She teamed up with Barbie for an adventure into self-discovery and followed her to Barbie Land.
Ariana Greenblatt portrayed Gloria’s daughter Sasha who tagged along with her mother and Barbie on their existential adventure.
A Barbie film can never be complete without an Allan. Michael Cera played the awkward red-haired character, the only non-Ken man in Barbie Land. Emerald Fennell also played the role of Midge, the only female non-Barbie in Barbie Land who appeared to be pregnant.
A film isn’t one without surprising cameos and Barbie had a few that made audiences nod with approval. John Cena hilariously appeared on screen for less than a second as “Kenmaid” and boy was that a sight to see! The most surprising cameo, however, was that of Barbara Handler, the woman who inspired the Barbie doll and the name “Barbie.” Barbara was the daughter of the Barbie inventor, Ruth Handler, who also named the Ken doll after her son, Kenneth.
This Barbie Caused an International Shortage in Pink Paint
What is Barbie Land without pink? You guessed right, nothing! Bringing Barbie Land to life required so much pink paint that they cleaned their supplier, Rosco, out. According to Lauren Proud, Rosco’s vice president, “There was this shortage, and then we gave them everything we could,” she explained.
This Barbie Had No CGI
Like its counterpart “Oppenheimer,” “Barbie” had little to no use of CGI. When the Barbie trailer dropped in May, there was one particular clip that stirred up a lot of talk on social media: the already iconic scene in which Margot Robbie’s character walked in pink heels before stepping out of them on her tiptoes to show off the Mattel doll’s signature arched feet. After the trailer’s release, fans swarmed social media with questions about how the scene was shot and if they were truly Robbie’s real feet. “I thought, ‘Oh god, no! That’s terrifying! That’s a nightmare,’” Gerwig said of the idea of resorting to CGI for the live-action film’s scene, adding, “Also, Margot has the nicest feet. She has these beautiful dancer feet.”
Robbie detailed how she pulled off the arched feet scene in a viral TikTok last month that has since amassed more than 10 million views. “It was probably about eight takes. Wasn’t that many,” the two-time Oscar nominee explained. “They are my feet. I walked up, we had little sticky bits on the floor for the double-sided tape for the shoes, so they wouldn’t come off so that I could get my feet out of them, and I was holding on to a bar, but that’s it.” She added, “I wasn’t in a harness or anything like that. I just walked up, kind of held onto the bar above camera.”
This Barbie Addressed Real-Life Issues
When Ken and Barbie traveled to The Real World, Ken discovered the act of patriarchy and how it was often used. He saw that, unlike Barbie Land, men ruled the human world. They were allowed to have jobs, be businessmen, and had a lot of power. He got fascinated by this and felt resentment towards the Barbies. In Barbie Land, women did all the work, and everyone was fine with that dynamic until the end when they decided that equality was the best policy. “Barbie” addressed sexism and the difficulties of being a woman (and even a man).
This Barbie Has Moral Lessons
In life, be kind like Barbie. Never give up. Stay true to yourself. Remember the importance of friendship. Do not be afraid to voice out when necessary. In parting, always remember that if Barbie can be anything, women can be anything.
Release Date: July 21, 2023
Runtime: 1 hour and 54 minutes
Streaming Service: None. Cinematic Release
Director: Greta Gerwig
Cast: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell, Issa Rae, Dua Lipa, Kate McKinnon, Simu Liu, America Ferrera, Ariana Greenblatt, Michael Cera, Ncuti Gatwa, Hari Nef, and Emma Mackey