‘Barbie’ challenges gender stereotypes and prejudices – The Wom

THEthe movie Barbie debuted in Italian cinemas on July 20 and was a huge success: thanks to its cast and direction Greta Gerwigwho wanted to tell a funny, but also deep story

“Come on Barbie, let’s go party”: an entire generation that grew up in the 2000s would know how to sing Aqua’s famous song by heart. Those who didn’t get a chance to hear it blasting through the radio speakers nearly twenty years ago, however, needn’t worry: the song is part of the soundtrack to his highly-anticipated new film Greta Gerwig dedicated to the most famous doll in history, released in Italian cinemas on July 20. And it took a little, very little for the “Barbie mania“.

The cast and characters of Barbie

The film sees Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling in those of Ken – the ‘masters’, in a world made up of namesakes – but the cast consists of other stellar names: America Ferrera plays a woman and among the various Barbies are the stars of ‘Sex Education’ Emma Mackey, Connor Swindells and Ncuti Gatwa, John Cena (Merman Ken) and Dua Lipa (Mermaid Barbie) again Nicola Coughlan, star of “Bridgerton”, is diplomat Barbie, Ritu Aya is journalist Barbie, Sharon Rooney is Lawyer Barbie. Narrator, “Dame” Helen Mirren.

So it’s no surprise that in recent months the film has been at the center of an advertising campaign that has generated huge publicity. Complicit teasers showing only Robbie’s leg descending from a glittering mule in dizzying heels – which became an iconic scene within minutes – high-pop trailers full of (inevitably) pink details, world tours and gadgets of all kinds, “Barbie” debuted in theaters and was actually already a cult.

The numbers reflect the dizzying success: data from Cinetel, an association that collects information on performances and attendance in Italian cinemas, attests to this on July 20 2.1 million people bought a ticket to see ‘Barbie’, surpassing almost every other movie that hit theaters this year. And many local celebrities decided to capture themselves on film, ready to enjoy the show, from Chiara Ferragni to Mara SatteAll, obviously, with a strictly Barbie-inspired look.

Barbie’s (and Gerwig’s) challenge to stereotypes

The credit, obviously, doesn’t just go to the protagonist. If it is true that for whole generations the blonde Mattel doll was a symbol, in recent years it was Mattel itself that “revised” the character that is considered very stereotypical and made it in keeping with the times, overcoming the old stereotypes of beauty. The plot follows this vision: Barbie, a doll living in “Barbieland”, is removed from her home because she is seen as imperfect and inadequate. He then embarks on an adventure in the real world in search of true happiness, beyond the appearances of a shiny and “plasticized” world.

The fact that Greta Gerwig, famous for stories centered around non-conformist female characters fighting against gender stereotypes and biases, thus making “Barbie” one of the most anticipated films of the year. And expectations were not dashed, because the critics almost did passed unanimously the film, defining it as a brilliant satirical comedy that challenges the conventions of gender roles and the view of actual play. It is no accident that they exist dozens of quotes of the Barbie universe, from the costumes, which are inspired by some of the doll’s most iconic characters, to the characters that have inhabited her world since her birth, way back in 1959.

Barbie is a movie about being human and becoming human – explained Gerwig, who worked on the script with her partner and who never hid the fact that she was a doll lover – We’ve always used dolls as tools to understand ourselves through a kind of clay. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if she was allowed to be like us, flawed, messed up, imperfect? I wanted to fix this crazy world full of joy, fun».

“Greta was the first person we approached to make the film – explained Robbie, the person who asked Gerwig to direct – I love her as a writer and director, we knew she would make a modern and capable film to make the difference”. And the goal seems to have been achieved: despite some criticism directed specifically at Gerwig, who has been accused of abandoning indie cinema for the mainstream, Barbie has what it takes to be a blockbuster unlike any other, which she says a story of emancipation and growth without giving up fun and a touch of charm.

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