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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover



Starring: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman and Will Ferrell
Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment


Certificate: 12
Release Date: 23 October 2023

To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you’re a Ken...

Barbie is a film that bends the rules of product tie-in properties, with spectacular results. You'd be forgiven for thinking that this was going to be a movie pushing the Mattel toy brand (as so many other toy movies based on familiar intellectual properties have done in the past), but what the producers do is take the brand and turn everything on its head. The end result is a touching, funny movie that the entire family can enjoy... while at the same time making us reflect on the world we live in.

The film opens with Barbie living in Barbie Land, where everything is perfect. She's "Stereotypical" Barbie, living amongst the other countless Barbies in her world. Each have their own place, but they run their world... which is, of course, perfect. Also living in Barbie Land are countless Kens and one Alan. Their time simply revolves around living their best life... which is pretty much the same every day.

When Stereotypical Barbie suddenly has uncontrollable thoughts about her own mortality, her life turns upside down. Over night she develops cellulite, bad breath and flat feet. In a panic she seeks out "weird" Barbie hoping she can help. After visiting with weird Barbie, she learns that each Barbie is inexplicably tied to a human child in the real world, and it's obvious that Barbie's child is struggling. And so Barbie heads to the real world in order to help this child. Ken smuggles himself into her car and the two head out to help Barbie get her perfect life back. But things don't quite go to plan. The real world is male dominated, giving the downtrodden Ken an idea of how he'd like Barbie Land to be. And when he returns home he intends to make some changes.

There's plenty of homages to other movies (including 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Matrix) which are wonderfully handled. There are also many tongue in cheek moments that illustrate how much fun the writers are having with the brand of Barbie.

Extras include: Its a Weird World (5 min, 03 sec, which looks at Weird Barbie and her gang of Barbies that never really managed to capture the publics imagination when they were originally released. It also looks at Magic Earring Ken and Sugar Daddy Ken (played by Rob Brydon in the movie); All-Star Barbie Party (4 min, 57 sec, look at the main stars and cameo appearances); Musical Make-Believe (9 min, 11 sec - Behind the scenes look at the movie's story); Becoming Barbie (6 min, 29 sec look at the design of the main characters; Welcome to Barbie Land (12 min, 01 sec look at the impressive sets); and Playing Dress-up: An Extended Look at the Costumes of Barbie (7 min, 27 sec).

It's a fun movie that has a serious message for everyone at its core.


Darren Rea

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