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The Smoke Signal

The Student News Site of Ripon High School

The Smoke Signal

The Student News Site of Ripon High School

The Smoke Signal

Is “Barbie” Mania Worth the Hype?

Variety/Warner Bros.
Variety/Warner Bros.

The biggest blockbuster of the year, “Barbie,” is a comedy/drama about a Barbie doll that’s played by Margot Robbie. In the movie, Robbie’s character learns the downsides and upsides of being a human. The movie has earned over 1.34 billion dollars and is the biggest global earning movie for Warner Bros. studios. Over the summer, the “Barbie” movie seemed to be all anyone can talk about, but is it really worth the hype? Let’s see what a few RHS students have to say about the new blockbuster.

Juniors Hannah Lehr and Mollie Walker are the officers for the RHS Film Club. As expert film critics, they both loved the “Barbie” movie. Not only did they like the cinematography and cast of the film, but they also loved the message it sent. When asked to rate the movie out of five stars, Lehr gave seven stars while Walker said four and a half.

“The movie overall was a fantastic viewing experience and a great comedy,” Walker explains. “The set and costume designs were so impressive, how it felt real yet fake and plastic at the same time, just like the dolls. Though at its core the movie still had an emotional story line connecting ‘stereotypical’ Barbie’s adventure into the real world with what it is like for a girl to grow up and realize the world isn’t what she thought it was.”

I agree with Walker that “Barbie” was able to provide comic relief and still have its important feminist message be a main focal point of the movie. 

There were many take-aways the movie conveyed, but I think the two most important lessons is that patriarchy hurts everyone in society and that life is still worth living, even if it has struggles.

Lehr states, “As ‘stereotypical’ Barbie sees the real world and despite all its problems, [she] decides to join it anyway because she saw the value of life.”

Barbie is so inspiring because when given the option between a perfect utopia and the real world, she chooses the real world. Life is simply not worth living for if it does not have any struggles. Ken, who’s played by Ryan Gosling, experiences patriarchy in the real world. At first, he loves that for once he has the power when it comes to gender roles, but then as the movie goes on, he learns how patriarchy leads to toxic masculinity. The real world’s standards make Ken feel that he is not “Kenough.”

Isabella Franscella, a freshman and a film fanatic, did not love the “Barbie” movie as much as Lehr and Walker. Like many people, she considered this film an advertisement ploy for Mattel, the creator of the Barbie Doll. 

Franscella claims, “The movie was produced by Mattel and painted the sales team as innocent men with Will Ferrell.”

The “Barbie” movie brought in about $100 million for Mattel, a brand that was becoming less popular before the movie. So, it could be possible that the movie was just a marketing ploy for Mattel.

Franscella also considered the movie to be too convoluted and displayed lessons that did not make sense to most viewers.

“I think it tried to have a message about women having power,” explains Franscella, “but it morphed into an odd and convoluted side plot about motherhood, just to have an ending where everything goes back to normal.”

The movie might have had too many lessons to be learned, but in the end, it ended exactly how it began–with Barbie trying to figure out who she was. Although, Franscella does make a valid point that it was misleading in the middle. Overall, I think the Barbie movie is worth the hype as long as you are able to discover the overall message, whether that be everyone having their own struggles, how important girlhood is, or that you are “Kenough.”

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About the Contributor
Violet Wagner
Violet Wagner, Journalist
Violet Wagner is a freshman at RHS. She enjoys writing and interviewing new people. Violet is participating in cross country and track this year, and taking honors and AP classes. She is most excited about this journalism class, and to attend all the football games. If she could pick one movie to watch for the rest of her life, she would choose “Inception,” in hopes that she will be able to understand it.

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