Greta Gerwig, a talented filmmaker known for her exceptional work in movies like “Lady Bird” and “Little Women,” has recently taken on a new challenge by directing the highly anticipated film “Barbie.” The movie’s debut weekend proved to be a massive success, setting records for both pandemic-era box office openings and being the biggest opening weekend ever for a film directed by a woman.
In “Barbie,” Margot Robbie stars as the iconic doll, bringing her to life on the big screen. The film explores more profound themes beyond just the surface appearance, diving into issues like sexism, female empowerment, and self-determination. The portrayal of these themes struck a chord with many viewers, leading to widespread praise and appreciation for the film’s message.
However, not everyone was thrilled with “Barbie.” Some conservative pundits criticized the movie, labeling it as “woke,” a term often used derogatorily to describe works perceived as being too socially aware or politically correct. There were even reports of people burning their Barbie dolls in protest of the film’s supposed agenda.
Gerwig, surprised by the intensity of the reactions, stated that she never anticipated such extreme responses to the movie. Nevertheless, she hopes that “Barbie” serves as an invitation for everyone, regardless of their views, to be part of the conversation surrounding the film’s themes. She believes that engaging with the movie’s message can lead to deeper understanding and even provide some relief to viewers.
During the filming of “Barbie,” Gerwig and the creative team encountered some disagreements with Mattel, the company that owns the Barbie brand. Richard Dickson, COO and president of Mattel, visited the set in London and expressed concerns about a specific scene that he felt was off-brand for Barbie. The scene in question involves a teenage human character criticizing Barbie dolls as sexist and fascist.
Despite the differences, Gerwig believed it was essential to include the scene to provide a well-articulated perspective against Barbie’s traditional image. She managed to convince Mattel to accept the scene, even though they didn’t fully endorse it. In the end, Gerwig’s vision prevailed, and the scene remained an integral part of the film.
As for the possibility of a sequel to “Barbie,” Gerwig remains unsure. She admits that after completing each movie, she often fears that she’ll never have another idea and that everything she wanted to express creatively has been done. However, she is genuinely grateful for the overwhelming success of “Barbie” and takes pride in the impact it has had on audiences.
While Gerwig continues to revel in the film’s triumph, her 4-year-old son seems ready to move on from all the Barbie excitement. He recently made a cake for his mother, adorned with a pink “B,” indicating it was time to bid farewell to Barbie. Gerwig couldn’t help but laugh at her son’s adorable gesture, seeing it as a humorous reminder that life moves on even after the thrill of a successful movie.
“Barbie” continues to play in theaters, captivating audiences with its thoughtful themes and creative storytelling, solidifying Greta Gerwig’s position as one of Hollywood’s most talented and influential directors.