How the Barbie Film Might Set the File Straight

The upcoming Barbie film, directed by Greta Gerwig, has already developed a following due to the abundance of intriguing set footage from taking pictures earlier this yr. Then lastly, the primary official footage of the movie was launched earlier this month.

That includes just a few pictures and no dialogue — save for an introductory voiceover by Helen Mirren — this preview didn’t give followers a lot to research from the movie itself. Nevertheless, it did present people with a style of the tone of the movie, together with its method to the supply materials.

The majority of the trailer consists of an introduction paying homage to 2001: A House Odyssey. The aforementioned narration performs over a bunch of little women with their child dolls, explaining that mentioned child dolls have been a staple of younger girlhood because the starting of time. Margot Robbie’s titular Barbie herself then makes her debut, wearing the identical black-and-white swimsuit the unique Barbie doll from 1959 wore. Lastly, just a few clips from the film that includes Robbie and some others within the all-star solid — together with Ryan Gosling, Issa Rae, and Simu Liu — are briefly proven, together with the film’s brand.

The few transient glimpses we get of the movie make it clear that Barbie is taking quite a lot of inspiration from the toy line, from outfits to the brightly coloured world itself. Nevertheless it’s not simply Barbie’s aesthetics that might be within the film — it’s her spirit, or moderately, the spirit of her creators. Barbie is essentially seen because the quintessential “lady toy,” and the model has been criticized for being too conformist to society’s requirements of magnificence. However because the trailer factors out, Barbie was and is a trailblazer within the toy business, which is one thing that’s typically missed these days.

Earlier than Barbie, as proven within the trailer, the “commonplace” toy for little women was the infant doll. Along with giving them one thing enjoyable to hold round and costume up, the underlying message of those dolls being marketed to ladies particularly reinforces conventional gender roles of ladies being answerable for elevating youngsters and being society’s caregivers usually.

So when Barbie stepped out onto the scene, she checked a special field. The character was older than her goal demographic, that means she was one thing to aspire to moderately than deal with. She was a task mannequin, which turned out to be each an excellent and unhealthy factor, nevertheless it offered an alternative choice to child dolls and the caregiving expectations that got here with them.

Sure, Barbie ended up selling a complete completely different set of gendered expectations — largely within the seems to be division — however the model additionally ended up being rather more progressive than it’s typically given credit score for. Past merely current as a grown-up doll in a sea of child ones, Barbie has continued to showcase ladies taking up roles nicely past motherhood (although there have been Barbie dolls targeted on motherhood, together with being pregnant). She’s performed almost each sport on the market, from these historically seen as “female” like gymnastics and ice skating, to ones like hockey, basketball, and boxing. She’s had numerous careers, corresponding to physician, chef, director, dancer, information anchor, entrepreneur, instructor, farmer, army officer, firefighter, astronaut, scientist, pilot, cowgirl, and beekeeper, to call just a few.

Barbie has additionally change into extra inclusive over time to those that don’t match her authentic look of being white with blonde hair and blue eyes. The dolls first grew to become extra racially various, and extra not too long ago have additionally rolled out a greater diversity of physique varieties and skills, with dolls with wheelchairs and even listening to aids becoming a member of the Barbie lineup. That is additionally one thing the film may also embrace, with a number of completely different variations of Barbie and Ken being current, every wanting radically completely different from one different.

Whereas Margot Robbie watched The Truman Present and Splash to arrange for the function, the movie Barbie is shaping as much as resemble essentially the most proper now seems to be The LEGO Film. This was additionally a movie devoted to bringing the world of a preferred toy model to life, however had a self-awareness that endeared audiences to it. It by no means obtained to the purpose of self-parody, however integrated the distinctive facets of the toy alongside components of the best way folks play with and put it to use, in addition to the tradition surrounding it.

With Barbie being known as subversive and the trailer giving audiences a style of that, one has to surprise if the movie will go so far as to criticize the model itself (if not the best way it’s within the modern-day, then a minimum of its previous of being much less inclusive than it’s now). This might push the boundaries additional than the aforementioned LEGO Film, although Barbie does look to be geared a bit extra towards adults than that movie was.

It’s additionally notable that Will Ferrell’s Barbie character has been reported to be the CEO of Mattel, which implies that the model itself will play a task within the movie. That being mentioned, it’s value noting that Mattel Movies itself is without doubt one of the manufacturing firms behind the mission, so the film could not find yourself being as important of the toy firm as some would possibly hope. Nonetheless, with the movie’s script being the highest side of the movie hyped to excessive heavens by these concerned with it, absolutely one thing in Barbie will shock audiences when it comes out.

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