The Algonquin Commons Theatre was filled with cheers and laughter on the evening of Nov. 7 for the screening of Barbie. The free screening saw dozens attend, some dressed in their brightest pink clothes, to watch the critically acclaimed film on the big screen.
“I think it gives power to women who didn’t think they had it before,” said Radiya Abdulwali, an animation student. “It highlights some of the things that society is too scared to talk about, but they did it in a comedic yet informative way. And it was just so touching to us and I hope that it was educational for others to just see what it’s like to be a woman or just to understand what our world can be like sometimes.”
The Barbie movie steps away from its usual formula of princesses and fantasy for a more realistic approach to the doll. Directed by Greta Gerwig, Barbie presents a heartfelt comedy, shining a light on the challenges women face through a humorous approach.
Highlighting female empowerment, Barbie was well-received by Algonquin College students.
“It’s my second time watching it, and honestly, it feels like I’m watching it for the first time again,” said Safia Ali, a travel services and tourism student. “The first time I watched it I wasn’t expecting (that), like I was honestly mad at it. I used to watch Barbie movies my whole life so I was expecting something like that.”
“I enjoyed it but I was confused,” added Ali. “I came out and I read the reviews and I started to understand the movie, so going back and watching it I felt more connected to it, and I understood it.”
Released on July 21, 2023, the Barbie movie was a box office hit. The movie brought in a total revenue of $1.44 billion worldwide and received a Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 83 per cent.
“I thought it was pretty good. You got the nice variety of the girly aspects but also very philosophical and talking about social issues and stuff,” said Elizabeth St-Charles, an esthetician student.
Baasit Nsubuga, an interactive multimedia and design student, had a different reason for appreciating the Barbie movie.
“I didn’t think much about watching it — me being here was kind of a last-minute thing. But I’m really glad that some of the last-minute things you do are the best things you can,” said Nsubuga. “I liked the cinematography. The camera always faces the characters. It’s always a head-on shot, and it makes the audience feel like they’re being talked to directly. And I like that they don’t follow any clichés.”
The movie received criticism online for its feminist theme despite its widespread popularity. The movie has been referred to by critics as a movie “by women, for women” but still tailors to all audiences through its self-conscious humour.
“Even if you go into it with your biases or thoughts, you’ll definitely get something out of it. I know you might not see it right now, but you have a variety of people showing up today,” said St-Charles, “It’s a nice mix, there’s some humour, there’s some musical scenes. There’s something for everyone!”