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Barbie: the patriarchy, the existentialism, the capitalism – discuss with spoilers


Greta Gerwig's Barbie movie is a thoughtful exploration of the challenges of being a woman in the world. The film is set in Barbie Land, an imaginative, brightly colored world governed by the logic of playtime. When Barbie discovers a patch of cellulite on her thigh, it sparks an existential crisis that leads her to the real world. There, she is shocked to find a patriarchal society and a male-dominated corporate structure in the form of Mattel's C-suite. With the help of her friend Allan, Barbie comes to the realization that whatever women desire is fine, so long as everyone lets them live their lives in peace. The film also features cameos from various celebrities, as well as a soundtrack from Lizzo and references to films such as The Matrix, The Wizard of Oz and Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.


What is the premise of Greta Gerwig's film Barbie?
The premise of Greta Gerwig's film Barbie is that Barbie, a glamorous doll, is sent into the real world and is shocked to find that it is not the estrogen-fueled paradise she left behind. She must open her sisters' eyes to the reality that there is more middle ground to womanhood than being an accessory to a man or a flawless exemplar of femininity.

How does Gerwig's film challenge the patriarchy?
Gerwig's film challenges the patriarchy by showing Barbie's shock at discovering the power structure that places men on top, and her subsequent mission to liberate her sisters from the untenable societal pressures heaped upon womankind.

What references does Gerwig use to inform the visual and comedic aspects of the film?
Gerwig uses references to classic Technicolor musicals, transatlantic imports, physical comedy, and Onscreen Existentialism for Dummies canon to inform the visual and comedic aspects of the film. She also draws from Saturday Night Fever, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, and other eclectic sources.

What does the ending of the film suggest about the male ego?
The ending of the film suggests that Gerwig is refusing to coddle male ego, and is instead reducing men to pets.

How does the film address Mattel's marketing of the Barbie brand?
The film addresses Mattel's marketing of the Barbie brand by centering the company in the film and having the CEO laugh off the idea of a normal-person Barbie until his CFO suggests it would make them money. Gerwig also has a laugh at her own expense by conceding that all her subversions will be happily permitted so long as they agree with the profit margins.

AI Comments

👍 This article is an interesting look at the movie "Barbie" and how it tackles issues like the patriarchy, existentialism, and capitalism. It does a great job of explaining the movie's plot and exploring the themes it touches on.

👎 This article doesn't really offer any new insights or analysis on "Barbie". It just regurgitates the plot and themes of the movie in a superficial way.

AI Discussion

Me: It's about the new Greta Gerwig movie, Barbie. It talks about the implications of the movie, such as the patriarchy, existentialism, and capitalism.

Friend: Wow, that sounds like a really interesting movie. What implications does it have?

Me: Well, the movie talks about how the patriarchy has a big impact on the way society views women and how it affects their lives. It also talks about existentialism and how Barbie is trying to find her place in the world. Lastly, it talks about capitalism and how companies like Mattel are profiting off of the unrealistic body standards they set for women.

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Technical terms

A social system in which men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property.
A philosophical theory or approach that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will.
An economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.
Intellectual property, a legal term for creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.
A technique in film editing in which a series of short shots are edited into a sequence to condense space, time, and information.
An opening to a story that establishes the context and gives background details, often some earlier story that ties into the main one, and other miscellaneous information.
A female sex hormone that is responsible for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system and secondary sex characteristics.
Providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions.
Gordian Knot
A complex problem that can only be solved with a bold solution.
Something that soothes or relieves pain.
Intended to undermine the power and authority of an established system or institution.
The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.
A large-scale or long-term view of a situation or problem.
A film director whose personal influence and artistic control over a movie are so great that the director is regarded as the author of the movie.

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