Warner Bros’ newest offering, the “Barbie” film, appears set to win the box office, even surpassing “Guardians of the Galaxy 3” in its Thursday previews. However, initial reviews suggest the Greta Gerwig-directed movie is less of the promised delightful journey and more a commentary on sociopolitical issues.
The trailers painted a tale of Margot Robbie’s character from the idyllic Barbie universe. As she starts to discern imperfections in her world, she’s led on an exploration to the real world to discover answers. On the surface, this promises a captivating cinematic treat.
Several conservative figures have criticized the movie for its alleged deviation from light-hearted entertainment to intense cultural discourse. Attorney Robert Barnes labels it as a deceptive “bait-and-switch” strategy, arguing it doesn’t cater to its presumed younger audience.
Critics Weigh In
YouTuber Lauren Chen highlights a subplot wherein Ryan Gosling’s Ken brings toxic masculinity elements from the real world to the matriarchal Barbie universe. Christian Toto, from “Hollywood in Toto”, also voices concerns about the film’s heavy feminist overtones, suggesting it often pauses its narrative to deliver socio-political monologues.
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Armond White provides a glimpse into some potentially controversial dialogue, such as Barbie’s remarks on “sexualized capitalism.” Similarly, Kyle Smith’s review in the Wall Street Journal equates the viewing experience to expecting light entertainment but receiving a heavy, theme-laden product.
Box Office Prospect
Despite the mixed reviews, “Barbie” is poised for box office success. With its hefty production budget and a projected worldwide collection that might exceed $300 million, the film is likely to yield significant profits for Warner Bros.
“Barbie” may stand out with its unique aesthetic and buzz, but it’s shaping up to be more of a cultural debate initiator than the unifying cinematic experience audiences might have anticipated.