Barbie’s film seems designed specifically to blow up the brains of the most nostalgic web: the photos that during these weeks are emerging from the set of Warner Bros. production, in fact, tell us of an imaginary very dear to those who grew up in the turn of the eighties and nineties. If several animated adaptations have been taken from the iconic Mattel doll, in fact, this is the first time that the young and blonde California girl lands on the big screen. The project is in fact quite ambitious: to play it is none other than Margot Robbie, one of the most popular Hollywood stars in recent years, flanked by Ryan Gosling, prototype of the American handsome who could only play the legendary Ken; then to direct the film there is an intellectual director like Greta Gerwig, thanks to her experiences with Lady Bird and Little Women, who wrote the screenplay with her partner Noah Baumbach, also appreciated for works such as The Meyerowitz Stories and Story of a Marriage.
The clash between icons of pop culture and mumblecore treatment is just around the corner and this only increases the curiosity of fans: the official photos published so far show us Robbie and Gosling perfectly embodying the glossy, sugary and above all shocking pink image of the two protagonists, immersed as they are in a universe of convertibles and houses that seem to have just come out of a gigantic toy store. To these are added the images that come from the set: in one we see Barbie and Ken ready for a colorful rodeo, in another the couple has fun on rollerblades on a street in Venice Beach, wrapped in suits with numerous and bright fluorescent colors, as if to imitate the famous doll model called Hot Skating Barbie of 1995. All thanks to Jacqueline Durran, Oscar-winning costume designer for films like Pride and Prejudice and Little Women himself.
Especially the latest photos contribute to increasing the hype on the film that will certainly feed on very powerful ‘90s vibe: all that exaggerated and somewhat kitsch aesthetic, perfectly embodied also by this playful universe, has returned to fashion in recent years, being reded and repreted even beyond its original canonical dimension (when it coincided with a certain type of And speaking of counterculture it is undeniable that for many Barbies and everything that gravitates around them represented the epitome of an extremely commercial, patriarchal, aestheticizing and belittling imagination towards women. Gerwig’s film, however, could dismantle all this given, even considering the large and varied cast ranging from Emma Mackey (Sex Education) to Issa Rae (Insecure), from Samu Liu (Shang-Chi) to Michael Cera (Arrested Development), passing through Nicola Coughlan, Kate McKinnon and Will
According to some rumors, in fact, Rae and Hari Nef, the transgender actress who became known for the Transparent series, could play different versions of Barbie herself, thus moving away from the white wasp model of tradition; similarly Liu, Cera and even Ncuti Gtawa (also from Sex Education) would be “inclusive” variants of Ken. Somehow, therefore, all the images we have seen so far, reinforcing as do the chromatic and aesthetic stereotypes of dear old Mattel, would only be an attempt to mislead us from the true thematic fulcrum of the film that could instead show the infinite identity potential of the doll itself. For now, the confirmation elements are very little, but for sure Barbie’s film will reserve us many surprises.
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