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Barbie is a 2023 comedy film directed by Greta Gerwig, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken. The film is an exploration of the world of Barbie and her characters, and addresses themes such as self-acceptance, diversity and the strength of women.

The plot of the film follows Barbie, a doll who lives in Barbie Land, a perfect world where everyone is thin, beautiful and happy. However, Barbie begins to feel uncomfortable in her perfect world, and when she is kicked out for not being perfect enough, she must find a way to survive in the real world.

In the real world, Barbie meets Ken, a boy who is also an outsider. Together, Barbie and Ken embark on a journey to discover themselves and the meaning of happiness.

The film was received positively by critics, who praised Gerwig’s direction, the actors’ performances, and the film’s positive message. The film was also a huge success at the box office, grossing over $1.4 billion worldwide.

Here are some of the themes that are explored in the film:

  • Self-acceptance: Barbie begins the film feeling inadequate because she isn’t perfect. However, over the course of the film, he learns to accept himself for who he is.
  • The diversity: The film features a diverse cast of characters, representing a variety of cultures and backgrounds.
  • The strength of women: Barbie is a strong and independent character who fights for what she believes in.
  • Plot


The film’s plot begins with Barbie living in Barbieland, a perfect world where everyone is thin, beautiful and happy. Barbie is a popular and successful doll, but she is starting to feel uncomfortable in her perfect world. She begins to wonder if there is more to life than just being beautiful and perfect.

One day, Barbie is kicked out of Barbieland for not being perfect enough. She is forced to find a way to survive in the real world, a world that is very different from the one she knows.

In the real world, Barbie meets Ken, a boy who is also an outsider. Ken is a smart and funny boy, but he doesn’t fit into the perfect world of Barbieland.

Barbie and Ken embark on a journey together to discover themselves and the meaning of happiness. They learn that it is important to accept yourself for who you are, regardless of how you appear. They also learn that it is important to be strong and independent, and that there is nothing wrong with being different.

Over the course of the film, Barbie and Ken face various obstacles, but ultimately manage to find happiness. Barbie learns to accept herself for who she is, and Ken learns to be strong and independent.




The development of the film

Development of a film based on the Barbie line began as early as September 2009, when Mattel signed a deal to develop the project with Warner Bros. However, the project remained stalled for several years, until 2016. , Margot Robbie has been confirmed as the star of the film.

In July 2019, Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach were tapped as the film’s screenwriters. Gerwig was also chosen as the film’s director, making her the first woman to direct a film based on a Barbie franchise.

Filming of the film began in March 2022 in Los Angeles. The film was shot in a mix of real locations and sets created specifically for the film.

He cast

In addition to Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, the film features a diverse cast of actors, including:

  • America Ferrera
  • Simu Liu
  • Kate McKinnon
  • Alexandra Shipp
  • Will Ferrell
  • Issa Rae
  • Michael Cera
  • Hari Nef
  • Kingsley Ben-Adir

Il budget

The film’s budget was $200 million, making it one of the most expensive films ever made based on a doll.



The distribution of the film Barbie was entrusted to Warner Bros. Pictures. The film was released in Italian cinemas starting from 20 July 2023 and in US cinemas from 21 July of the same year.

The film was released in over 80 countries around the world. In Italy, the film was distributed in over 800 cinemas.

The film was a box office success, grossing over $1.4 billion worldwide. In Italy, the film grossed over 20 million euros.

The film’s release was accompanied by a global advertising campaign. The advertising campaign included television commercials, online commercials and social media campaigns.

The advertising campaign was aimed at promoting the film and attracting the widest possible audience.

The distribution of the film Barbie was a success. The film was released worldwide and grossed over $1.4 billion. The film’s publicity campaign was aimed at promoting the film and attracting as wide an audience as possible.


Critical reception

Critical reception of the film Barbie has been mostly positive. The film received a score of 71 out of 100 on the website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 302 reviews. The site’s critical consensus reads, “Barbie is a fun and inspiring film that tackles important issues like self-acceptance, diversity, and the strength of women. Margot Robbie is fantastic as the iconic doll, and Ryan Gosling is a great addition to the cast.”

Public reception

Public reception of the Barbie film was also positive. The film received a score of 8.2 out of 10 on the IMDb website, based on over 100,000 reviews. Fans praised the film for its uplifting story, character performances, and Greta Gerwig’s direction.


by Fabio Del Greco


I thought, looking at the trailers and promos, that Barbie was a movie inspired by a plastic doll about a plastic world, about virtual reality, about the artificial world we live in today. This is a topic that interests me a lot, a line of films that started a few years ago with titles like Super Size Me, indirectly linked to a dystopian vision to the Truman Show expressed in various film genres.

I had thought that Barbie could be a film that revealed an analysis of this type, starting from the discourse of a doll who is in conflict with the virtual world in which she lives, where she finds laws that mean nothing, where she finds suffering, the death instinct , depression.

I thought this film revealed something in the end, a discourse parallel to that of the doll which then expanded the director’s and authors’ vision to a revelation of some kind. Making a film simply about a doll marketed in shops, without hidden traces, seemed to me to be an idea that couldn’t even come to someone with mental problems.

But no. This movie is truly a doll movie. It’s a mystery. Warner Bros, which is a large studio and has been making commercial films that have dominated the world cinema scene for 100 years, even if it directs its products towards a mass audience interested in entertainment, has always put a certain solidity into its productions. The facade is important.

Here, however, for some mysterious reason, where the decline of Hollywood is in free fall, it seems that the system wants to look for more tools to self-destruct more quickly. Well, Barbie is definitely one of these tools. The screenplay is so insane, in terms of general structure and dialogue, that it seems unlikely that anyone wrote them.

The dialogues are really cloying and at the beginning there is a doubt that they could be an instrument of irony on the vision of a plastic world where the characters are dolls and therefore speak that way. Barbie is a doll and therefore there is a game about these stupid dialogues, and perhaps this game then reveals a greater vision in the ending.

But is not so. The authors totally lose control. So much so that even at the end what should prove to be the cathartic scenes in which human beings speak and one would have liked to bring this conflict to light turn out to be ridiculous, the lines they utter are paroxysmal, they are precisely the cliché of the cliché of clichés . Unsettling.

In the world of film criticism there is even someone who tries to say that Barbie is a masterpiece, but now there is no limit to the regression taking place. Many say that it is a mediocre film but that it has exceptional sets: but the set design itself means nothing. If I create an incredible set design, caramelized, pink, like certain candy shops found in big cities in places of mass tourism, it means absolutely nothing if it doesn’t work together with the contents of the film and all the other elements. Any natural scenography would be more interesting if integrated well, for example, with a documentary film, where meaning and form meet.

Another striking point is the inability to focus on real feelings, on something that is realistic. It is always clear that directors, in the big studio system, count for little or nothing. The professionals know it well: someone else makes the film for them. This explains how mediocre directors who go to the United States then end up making films that seem much better. One wonders how it is possible for a mediocre director in the United States to make a thriller at the level of the Coen brothers.

Anyone who knows the industrial processing of certain products knows that in the end the big-budget industrial film is decided first, and it’s all expected. The film is made by technicians and professionals, there is a whole series of departments that make the film, everything is already decided before it is made. The director has much less room to maneuver than the audience thinks.

The advertisement should say “Here’s the new film by…” and put the name of the studio, not the director. When there are projects that cost millions not only are the themes discussed but they must also be propaganda themes: the film is carefully planned in an industrial manner with certain messages to convey. Barbie is striking for how compulsively she insists on the special effect, on the plastic scenography. To the point of boredom.

The scenarios are incredibly layered but the shots last a few seconds, whereas they deserve to last much longer, and everything becomes useless and superficial, boring, an end in itself. The void, the lack of ideas, dialogues, history must be continually filled with scenography and sweetened images. Images that in films like Super Size and Truman Show have an impact, have a symbolic value, have a moral value. In Barbie these insistent images, of virtual worlds, of Barbieland, are put there to fill a film that otherwise has nothing to say.

But are we sure that this audience of teenagers, of young girls who have played with Barbie and who perhaps are nostalgic for childhood, or this adult audience interested in the myth of the doll, will like this type of show? Are we sure they are that superficial? I wouldn’t swear to it. Some might be satisfied and entertained by this bombastic display of colours. But are we sure that the majority of the target audience of this film does not expect something more, a vision of the final world, even if superficial, that minimum that even the big studio has always guaranteed despite making a commercial show?

When I find a full movie theater I know that there are serious doubts about the film even before the show begins. If the theater is empty it could be a good film, if it is deserted it could be a masterpiece. Experience teaches. And then begins all the usual speech of the insiders under Hypnosis which says “Thank goodness there is a film like Barbie that fills the theaters”. I would like to respond to them: if the important things are full theaters and takings then let’s screen porn films for everyone, 7 out of 7. There will be a river of money in the cinema coffers.

However, Barbie is interesting from a sociological point of view: where do you want to go, what do you want to tell, who will resist until the end of the screening? Almost like an entomologist I looked at the audience, a very young audience munching on popcorn and colored sweets, and I asked myself: “But why isn’t anyone getting up and leaving?”. Because at a certain point, towards the end, the exchanges of dialogue that last several minutes are truly embarrassing. But no: people watch the film, continue to munch something, politely or rudely. Mystery. Maybe someone liked it. Let’s do the sequel.

Fabio Del Greco

Fabio Del Greco

Director, screenwriter, actor, creator of moving images since 1987. Passionate about cinema and scholar of the seventh art.

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