“It might not have shown every aspect of a woman’s daily life and how hard it can be, but it did a very good job showing just a smidge of it,” an anonymous sophomore said.
“Barbie”, released on July 21, has gained worldwide recognition, beginning before the movie was released. It was previously featured in news stations and magazines including The Hollywood Reporter, NBC news and Rolling Stone. The movie has a twist on unattainable societal standards, where Barbie suddenly starts to show flaws, and from thereout follows her journey trying to save Barbieland.
The attention it gained was both positive and negative. Some have gone as far as saying it’s an attack on men, and according to others, those people were missing the point of the whole movie.
Clover Harris, freshman, has witnessed some of the backlash surrounding the movie.
“I enjoyed it overall but I went to see it with a man, and I noticed that a lot of the metaphors went over his head and were interpreted as an attack on men when it was intended to be put into perspective,” Harris said.
While the movie went over some people’s heads, for others, it communicated a stronger understanding regarding the impacts of misogyny and created a safe space for people affected by it.
“I received a lot of positive feedback from my female friends who watched it with me, but the boy I was with did not like or understand it.” Harris added. She said that while it was easy to stay interested in the movie due to how watered down and lighthearted it is, it caused some people to interpret it in a different way.
“I think because it had so many different points, some of the main ones got watered down too much, which is why the person who I was with got a little confused and took it as an attack… like he compared girls to ants and said we all look and act the same,” Harris said.
Harris isn’t the only one who has heard backlash, but the sophomore has as well. “I think people are taking it as propaganda of hating men and that men suck and shouldn’t exist, but it’s literally just putting reality into perspective for morons to understand,” the sophomore said. He added that while he thought the movie was simply going to be about Barbie dolls, he was pleasantly surprised to see the deep meanings shown through it.
The movie has an 88% Rotten Tomatoes rating with its reviews applauding the filmmaker, cast and clever script. “Gerwig didn’t just make a great movie; it’s something that will buckle the knees and tug hard on the heartstrings for generations of viewers. This is the work of a marvelous filmmaker who knows exactly what she is and wants to do,” Dan Buffa, Rotten Tomatoes reviewer, said.
Similarly to Buffa, critic Leonard Maltin touched on the important role models the movie shines light on for future generations. “When I became a father, I searched for movies that would show my daughter positive role models, and it was tough going. ‘Barbie’ makes up for lost time and should warm the hearts of parents and daughters alike,” Maltin said.
The reviews of the movie are filled with mixed opinions and perspectives, but one thing the majority of critics seem to agree on is the representation and deep meaning of feminism the film holds, coated in satire to make it more appealing to all audiences. The movie concludes on an empowering note, with multiple characters speaking out on the unrealistic standards held for women- highlighting the meaning of imperfection and unfair societal standards pointed towards femininity.
Barbie is showing at most local theaters, and is available for pre-order on multiple streaming platforms including Prime Video and Itunes.
This will be Jasper Winterton’s first year on ECHO staff. He made several contributions while taking journalism class his freshman year.