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Don’t worry, this review doesn’t contain any spoilers! So, you can go watch the Barbie film in theaters after reading it. That is what my wish is anyway!

So, we’re in the third week of Barbie opening, and the Kenergy seems to be unstoppable! The movie grossed more than 1 billion worldwide within the past two weeks of its theatrical release, breaking one box office record after another. And I, personally, am living for this! Warner Bros. executives must be jumping with joy at this result after the studio was wrought with controversies for quite a few years.

When they first announced there was going to be a movie about Barbie starring Margot Robbie, I was skeptical that they were going to put that much effort and have such an A-lister do just a cliche children’s movie about a doll. And then when I heard, Greta Gerwig is making this, and Ryan Gosling is going to be Ken in the movie, I just knew we’d be up for an unforgettable journey ahead.

And girl, did they deliver! It was perfect!

Barbie Main Trailer

The Barbie Hype

This is a movie in a long time which is its own thing. No sequel, no remake, no nothing, yet managed to convince a huge number of people all around the world to dress in pink and give themselves Barbie identities on social media just on its own merit.

Speaking of all this hype, I had been eagerly waiting for more than a year to watch the movie about the plastic sweetheart that ruled my, correction, OUR, childhood. Why wouldn’t I? From news about the pitch, teaser, and main trailer, I was sure it wasn’t going to be what many people assumed it would be and I was waiting to see how that’d roll out. And I was so proud of myself when I discovered that I got my priorities right from very early on.

Given Greta’s previous track record and the trailer, for me, the narrative was easy to assume. And obviously, I was not the only one. But still, it seems like from all the reactions worldwide, most people were expecting to watch a completely different movie.

Barbie 2023 - Set - Deshi Geek
Barbie 2023 – Set – Deshi Geek

The Reception? Or Deception?

A lot of people assumed it’d be a live-action take on all those early 2000s animated 3d Barbie movies, and this would be just another pink adventure of America’s blonde sweetheart that’s been in the market for 63 years.

But it wasn’t, this had a coming-out-of-age touch that made Barbie painfully relatable to us adults who wouldn’t be caught dead watching a movie about a toy without ironic reasons. We hyped the movie ironically and got swept away with emotional fluctuations many of us weren’t prepared to deal with.

And I’m not complaining. But a lot of others are. And most of them are complaining in the most delusional way possible.

Parental Concerns

Many parents complained that they took their children to watch a sweet “Barbie” movie and were disappointed that the movie wasn’t for children, or not something that’d be entertaining to kids. The philosophy of the movie wasn’t something some parents were ready to have a conversation that early on with their children.

To an extent, I feel sorry for the oblivious parents who thought it’d be safe to not check anything prior about a movie that’s about a doll their kids love to play with. But then, it’s rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association, so it should’ve been fair to assume that wouldn’t be somewhat appropriate for kids who still think Santa is real. And as parents, you should always check beforehand what you’re taking your kids to see if you’re not ready for a talk or think it’s fitting.

Barbie Movie X Music Trailer

Is Barbie A Movie For Kids?

The movie never was about the kids, and they tried to subtly get the message across from the very beginning. A lot of things will go over their head, but it’s alright if the parents are okay with it as nothing visually inappropriate happens. Did I mention, the visuals are fun for all ages?

Yeah, the visual aspect of the movie will cater to everyone regardless of age. But the philosophical aspect lying underneath? Not for everyone, and kids below the age of 10-12 are too young to understand any of that profoundly, let alone enjoy it.

Now, kids have their own reason to find the film overwhelming at times. And some parents might have some logic behind their disappointment, but what I found annoying how a particular group of people on the internet are not being able to shut up about how offended they’re about this movie.

Is Barbie Woke?

Ben Shapiro was presumably “forced” by the producers to watch the Barbie movie, and to express how he felt about it, he made a 43-minute long video on the subject matter.

Ben Shapiro Barbie Roast Video

Imagine spending 40+ minutes of your life watching Ben Shapiro talk about how much he hated a movie that he wasn’t a target audience of in the first place. That has to be embarrassing for both his haters and his fans. And yes, not a single cell in my body could make me click it. I know what he could say, and I don’t need to know that, ’cause that movie is not for him to ‘enjoy’—end of discussion.

Many are infuriated with the movie because it’s ‘too woke’, ‘painfully feminist’, and ‘clearly anti-men. It’s sad because clearly, they missed the point of the story and the essence of Barbie.

Barbie in this movie was a collective representation of everything Barbie has been since the 60s. And Barbie has always been the girl who’s all there. She’s had many careers over the years and had her own dreamhouse even back in the 60s when it wasn’t a common lifestyle for young girls in their 20s or 30s.

Is Ken’s Portrayal Misleading In The Movie?

While being the favorite companion of many young girls all around the world, Barbie herself was never defined primarily by her companion. Ken, Barbie’s boyfriend was introduced two years later after the launch of Barbie and was a mere accessory rather than a primary object of attention. Ken was always there to accentuate Barbie’s world, and that exact thing happened in the movie, nothing exaggerated.

And there’s nothing wrong with that? One Ken doesn’t represent every man in the world just like one person’s action doesn’t represent the community. It’s amusing how the group of people who always try to use the “not all men” in their claims to take the narrative away from a victim are generalizing all men in the representation of Ken.

Also, Ryan Gosling’s Ken is fun. Yes, this Ken is a gullible himbo, but Gosling ate up the role. Doesn’t matter if some people are salty about this obnoxious portrayal, looks like he enjoyed every moment of Ken’s stupidity and this made every scene with him hilarious.

And it’s not just him, that goes for every other Ken in the movie. Kens, you might be just Kens, and “intentionally portrayed stupid” in some people’s words who have no idea about Barbie’s dreamhouse bees-wax, you’re kenough. We love you.

And Allan, you count too.

Barbie 2023 - Sequences - Deshi Geek
Barbie 2023 – Sequences – Deshi Geek

Ken Is Just Ken, The Movie Is Not A Threat To All Men

The people who are afraid that this portrayal of Ken as a goofy-ah boy is the worst, just know, this isn’t stopping Gosling from winning over all the tough-cookie male-est of all males shedding tears in the dark theater and whispering under their breath,

“Ken is literally me.”

Now about all the other evil, stupid, or bland male characters? Grow up, it’s not the end of the world. They don’t represent all men in the world and no rational person is going to hate men or masculinity because of the characters represented in a movie.

What Barbie Is About?!!

The ‘Barbie’ movie is not about hating masculinity. It’s about the negative impact of patriarchy on the journey of a girl in this world. Whether you’re born and bred here or just arrived from Barbieland, the struggle is always the same.

And it’s a tribute to everything feminine and girly we were taught to hate and bullied for. It feels incredible to see how the movie and the hype for the movie made so many people come together to celebrate a movie that was ‘supposed’ to be for ‘children’ and ‘too girly’ and ‘too glittery and colorful to be anything significant’.

But that doesn’t limit the relativity of the story to women only. It’s about existential crisis, about the reality check we often try to ignore to keep the smile intact on our face, and it’s about even more. Barbie has always been about breaking barriers and starting the discussion, and the movie has been in the latest installment on that.

Margot Robbie Takes You Inside The Barbie Dreamhouse

Final Verdict

While many people can’t hate it enough for all the uncomfortable subject matters, it won over me and millions of others for the exact same reason. I’m glad they went with Robbie for Barbie. It didn’t feel like she was playing a character. She IS Barbie! It was a great delight to see her being a doll without a worry in one moment and then asking fellow Barbies, Kens, and Allan if they ever think about dying the next moment.

The casting of the movie is brilliant. The Barbieland is visionary. The way this movie revolutionized admiration for pink and femininity is everything. Barbie is fabulous, and Ken is…. just Ken. (Allan was not significant to the story) And the ending is, something you won’t expect.

Bottomline of this, you’ll either love the movie or hate it. But do give it a watch.

Also, what’s your favorite song from Barbie’s soundtrack? Mine is “Barbie World” by Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice. Why? ‘Cause Nicki Minaj was BORN to be a Barbie and rap about Barbie World for a Barbie soundtrack; Ice Spice has a soothing voice; and Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” is sampled in this? How much more iconic can a song for this soundtrack can be?

And peeps, do check out my news article on The Boys Season 4 right here in Deshi Geek, your go-to platform for pop culture stuff!


Nafisa Maliyat loves writing and everything unpleasant, ranging from horror movies to Dhaka on a busy day. The plot twist is, she's not from Dhaka. And young Noam Chomsky is the reason she still feels motivated to study Linguistics, the discipline she's majoring in.

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