Film and Plot Synopsis
Barbie Land is a place of flawless beauty and perfection, where Barbies shine as the stars in an immaculate world. Yet, even in this seemingly ideal realm, existential questions can surface, reminding even the Barbies of life’s uncertainties. The Kens, living in their shadow, struggle to find their own identities and significance in a society that appears perfect. This contrast between perfection and inner turmoil serves as a reminder that, no matter how perfect a world may seem, the complexities of the human experience always find their way into the fabric of Barbie Land.
Buy the Film
‘Barbie’ Movie Summary
Unbeknownst to the outside world, there exists a realm called Barbieland, where the inhabitants include not only Barbies and Kens but also other dolls like Allan (played by Michael Cera) and Midge (played by Emerald Fennell). Within Barbieland, the Barbies hold dominion in a matriarchal hierarchy, holding prestigious positions, while the Kens exist as subservient figures, dwelling perpetually in the shadows of the Barbies. One such Ken, Beach Ken (embodied by Ryan Gosling), nurtures an affection for Stereotypical Barbie (depicted by Margot Robbie) and continually competes for her attention, though she remains oblivious to his affections.
During a lively dance soirée hosted at her abode, Stereotypical Barbie unexpectedly begins to ponder the concept of her own mortality. The following day, Barbie undergoes an existential crisis, encountering a succession of mishaps that include blemishes on her previously flawless skin and her once-arched feet now becoming flat. It is then that her fellow Barbies recommend she seek counsel from Weird Barbie (portrayed by Kate McKinnon), who imparts the revelation that the human girl currently playing with her is unhappy. In order to resolve her crisis, Barbie must embark on a journey to the real world, locate the girl, and provide her with assistance.
En route to the real world, Barbie discovers that (Beach) Ken has stealthily hidden away in her car. After some persuasion, she agrees to let him accompany her, and together, they journey to Los Angeles, unwittingly finding themselves in several accidental arrests along the way. As Barbie witnesses the imperfections of the real world, she learns to shed tears, an emotional response she was unfamiliar with, and even goes so far as to offer a compliment to an elderly woman for her beauty. Meanwhile, Ken wanders off and stumbles upon the realization of the patriarchal society, experiencing a sense of belonging for the first time. Filled with excitement, he decides to return to Barbieland.
Subsequently, in a local school, Barbie encounters her human girl, Sasha (played by Ariana Greenblatt), and attempts to assist her. However, Sasha and her friends condemn Barbie, accusing her of glorifying bimbo culture and promoting unhealthy life aspirations. This harsh criticism leaves Barbie in tears, prompting her to hastily retreat. Concurrently, the CEO of Mattel (portrayed by Will Ferrell) uncovers Barbie’s existence and issues orders for her immediate deportation to Barbieland, dispatching his subordinates in pursuit.
Barbie eventually arrives at the imposing Mattel Headquarters and comes face-to-face with the CEO and his team of male associates. They make an attempt to return her to Barbieland, using a life-sized doll box as a decoy, but Barbie discerns their true intentions and escapes, leading to a dramatic chase. In her hour of need, Barbie finds unexpected allies in Sasha and her mother, Gloria (depicted by America Ferrera), the latter being revealed as the source of Barbie’s anxieties. It turns out that Gloria had turned to playing with Barbie during a midlife crisis, using Barbie as a conduit to cope with her own worries. Unbeknownst to them, they are pursued by the CEO and his cohorts as they embark on their journey back to Barbieland.
I do not have a vagina and he does not have a penis. We have no genitals. Barbie (Margot Robbie)
Upon their return to Barbieland, the trio is met with a shocking revelation: Ken has orchestrated a coup, leading his fellow Kens in overthrowing the established order. They have enslaved the Barbies, relegating them to the roles of compliant girlfriends. Moreover, the Kens are planning to cement their newfound patriarchy by incorporating it into the Barbieland constitution the following day. Barbie endeavors to persuade Ken to revert to the previous system, but he adamantly refuses, finally experiencing a sense of worthiness for the first time in his life. As a result, Barbie descends into a deep state of despondency.
In this dire moment, Gloria steps forward and delivers an impassioned speech on the strength and resilience of women, serving as a source of inspiration for Barbie. Her words ignite a spark within Barbie, motivating her to take action to rescue Barbieland.
Barbie, Gloria, Sasha, Weird Barbie, Allan (who opposes the Kens’ new rule), and other discontinued Barbies and Kens devise a cunning strategy. Leveraging Gloria’s empowering speech, they liberate the Barbies from their subjugation and sow discord among the Kens, diverting their attention away from amending the constitution. As the Kens engage in a tumultuous conflict on the beach, the Barbies swiftly restore Barbieland’s matriarchal order within the constitution.
In a heartfelt moment, a disheartened Ken openly expresses his discontent at being relegated to the status of a mere accessory in Barbie’s life. In response, Barbie offers him words of encouragement, urging him to embrace his individuality and be his authentic self. The two share apologies, acknowledging their past mistakes. President Barbie, portrayed by Issa Rae, amicably negotiates with the Mattel CEO before ultimately agreeing to grant equality to the Kens and other discontinued toys.
Yet, Barbie remains uncertain about her own identity and purpose. Seeking guidance, she encounters the ethereal spirit of Ruth Handler, the co-founder of Mattel and her very creator, portrayed by Rhea Perlman. Ruth imparts wisdom, emphasizing that Barbie need not confine herself to a singular purpose, as her evolution will perpetually transcend her origins. She grants Barbie glimpses of various paths, including motherhood, encouraging her to chart her own unique course.
Empowered by these revelations, Barbie makes a momentous decision to reside in the real world as a human, adopting the name Barbara Handler. Accompanied by Gloria and Sasha, she embarks on a significant appointment, proudly declaring her intent to visit her gynecologist, symbolizing her newfound agency and self-determination.