Assistant A&E Editor
People say that at the end of the day, all that matters is who you went to see “Barbie” with in July. However, there is an opportunity to relive that momentous time. Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” is set to return to theaters on Jan. 26.
Based on the toy of the same name, the movie released on July 21, 2023 and was a hit in the box office, having made $1.446 billion. Margot Robbie stars as self-proclaimed “Stereotypical Barbie,” a Barbie living in a matriarchy deemed “Barbie Land” who must travel to the real world alongside Ken (Ryan Gosling). Ken learns about patriarchy and after feeling respected for the first time, he consequently returns to “Barbie Land” and encourages the other Kens to take over. He dubs their society “Kendom” and builds his own patriarchy riddled with horses and western motifs. Barbie returns to find her world turned upside down and her identity lost. Throughout the movie, both Barbie and Ken go on journeys of self discovery, learning the truth of the real world and how to form their own identities.
“Barbie” discusses themes of identity, self expression, the toxic masculinity that is forced on men and how it feels to be a woman today. One of the scenes that stood out in the movie was the monologue given by America Ferrera’s character Gloria: the woman in the real world responsible for Barbie’s existential crisis. She explains the baggage that comes with being a woman in this world and how women are always expected to be “perfect” regardless of the challenges they may face. Ken also falls victim to toxic masculinity, a belief pushed onto men that they cannot be seen as “weak” or “inferior.” Barbie comes to learn that her story never really had an ending and that she can expand on her roots and Ken learns that he can have his own identity that doesn’t involve him being dependent on Barbie.
Alongside Robbie, Gosling and Ferrera, the film stars Will Ferrell, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon and other actors and actresses playing the roles of Barbies and Kens. “Barbie” starts playing again in many theaters across Rhode Island on Jan. 26.