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The Student News Site of Rice Memorial High School

The Knight's Banner

The Student News Site of Rice Memorial High School

The Knight's Banner

Moving On
February 6, 2024
Bessette dunking at Patrick Gym during a game against Brattleboro. (Photo/Drew Bessette)
Bessette Commits to UVM
December 10, 2023

The Barbie Movie: A Review

The poster for the Barbie Movie, which was released July 21, 2023.
(Image/Warner Bros)
The poster for the Barbie Movie, which was released July 21, 2023.

Warning: This review contains spoilers.


Barbie, a toy that needs no introduction, graced the big screens on July 21 and many donned pink attire as they flocked to the theaters.


The Knight’s Banner editor Giles Heilman seen in his pink attire, standing in front of the Barbie Movie poster.
(August 22, 2023) (Photo/Keira Underwood)


The plot was largely unknown due to a vague trailer, which was released on May 25, 2023. Many, however, quickly deduced that the movie would have elements of the classic Wizard of Oz, with waiting fans spotting Wizard of Oz posters and a pink brick road in the background.


The movie, however, took Wizard of Oz’s idea of “peeking behind the curtain” a little farther. Barbie left the safety of her pink world, traveled into the “real world” and was shocked to see a patriarchal society in blatant juxtaposition to Barbie’s home, which was led by strong, independent women. Ken, who had accompanied her on this journey, returned home, bringing ideas of patriarchy with him.


The “President Barbie” in the new Barbie movie, released July 21, 2023. (Image/Warner Bros)


Barbie land then changed drastically, with all the women turning to serve the men, turning the society into an extreme patriarchy. 


The chaos of this new society heightened until finally, Gloria, a woman from the real world, who had encountered Barbie, got the Barbies out of their trance by reminding them of what things they were deprived of, such as equality in the workplace.

Gloria, portrayed by actor America Ferarra, in the Barbie Movie released July 21.
(Image/Warner Bros)

Greta Gerwig’s goal was to highlight a women-led society, however, in doing so, she portrayed men as incompetent, swinging too far in the other direction. Gerwig’s movie was largely feministic but also sunk to the level of old-timey directors, who largely portrayed women as incompetent and insignificant. The only difference is that now the tables had turned. 


Gerwig could have made a movie in which men and women were equal socially, felt safe in society, and earned the same money, but had different jobs and gender roles that would conventionally suit women.  

The movie also lacked a unified central plot, which made it difficult for the creators to focus on one theme. The movie included the plot of Ken and the negative effects of patriarchy. It also included a plot about girlhood and the importance of it. The creators did this through the inclusion of Ruth Handler, the creator of the Barbie doll, and her reflection on humanism, motherhood, and just enjoying being a woman.


Ruth Handler, portrayed by Rhea Pearlman in the Barbie movie, released on July 21, 2023. (Image/Warner Bros)

Despite the controversial politics of the Barbie movie, the movie itself was brilliant. The characters were funny and relatable. The visuals were bright and dramatic. The soundtrack and dancing were amazing, composed of songs like “Dance the Night Away” sung by Dua Lipa, and “I’m Just Ken” sung by Ryan Gosling.


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About the Contributor
Marissa Cross
Marissa Cross, Staff Writer
Marissa joined the Knight's Banner in January 2023 as a staff writer. She enjoys writing about all topics but especially sports-related news. Her goal is to highlight under-recognized voices and points of view.
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