Thanks to the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board's (MTRCB) thorough review of the controversial and now-famous kiddie map that supposedly depicts China's claims on disputed territories, there's no stopping Warner Bros' highly-anticipated fantasy comedy, “Barbie” from opening in cinemas nationwide today.
Accordingly, audiences across these 7,100-plus islands, with access to movie houses, will get to experience Oscar-nominated writer and director Greta Gerwig's “Barbie Land” as intended, “blurred map” notwithstanding.
“First and foremost, I wanted Barbie Land to feel like a happy place – where Barbie lives in our childhood imaginations,” said Gerwig in an interview released by Warner Bros.
She quickly realized the best way to achieve her goal was using pink and lots of it.
“One of the first days I met with [production designer] Sarah Greenwood and the art team, we looked at all the different shades of pink to determine how they would interact,” Gerwig recalled.
“As a little girl, I liked the brightest pinks, but Barbie Land would incorporate the full spectrum of the color. So it was important to figure out where those bright pinks would live alongside our palest pastel pink and, of course, every tone of pink in between.”
Another unique thing about Barbie Land, said Gerwig, is that “there's no place for Newton's laws” in this pink sphere.
“There is no wind, there is no sun, no gravity and no water. But as filmmakers, we do live in a world of physics, so when dealing with the reality of Barbie Land, there were the rules of Barbie Land, and then there were the rules we've set up for the filmmaking, and then how those two things interacted,” the director further explained.
“I'm in love with 1950s soundstage musicals — those wonderfully artificial spaces —, and because Barbie was invented in 1959, it felt like we could ground everything in that look and not be so beholden to it.”
Getting all the more specific, Gerwig declared, “I want everyone to feel like they can reach up to the screen and touch everything because that's the great thing about dolls and toys.”
Gerwig grew up with Barbie. When she was little, she shared, “I was always waiting for our neighbors' children to grow tired of theirs so they would give me the hand-me-down Barbies. That was the big thing I was always looking forward to. I have a very vivid, visceral memory of Barbie and what it meant.”
As such, Her love for Barbie when she was a kid helped Gerwig understand Barbie the way she's meant to be understood.
“The idea of the multiplicity of the Barbies and then the Kens really did come out of my first meeting with Mattel. When I started talking about different characters, they said, 'No, we don't have different characters. All of these women are Barbie,'” related Gerwig. “So I replied that if all of these women are Barbie then Barbie is all of these women, and they said, 'Yes.'”
Robbie Brenner, who runs the movie division of Mattel and is one of the producers of “Barbie,” lauds Gerwig's vision for the film.
“It's amazing how Barbie has evolved as something really wonderful to play with and also to dream with,” the executive noted. “That said, there are people who aren't fans of Barbie, and Greta and Noah [Baumbach] did what they do so brilliantly, which is to explore all sides of Barbie and of the conversation around Barbie.
“By laughing with and embracing all things about Barbie at the same time makes the movie complex, interesting and simply brilliant.”
Margot Robbie, who plays the titular doll in the film, gives high praise to Gerwig too: “Greta has this superpower in the vibe she creates on set, which is so in line with what we wanted Barbie Land to be: bright, happy and supportive. Greta is the happiest, loveliest, most supportive director, and she's also insanely talented. She's literally got Barbie energy.”
The highly-anticipated movie about the iconic doll has been rated PG without cuts by MTRCB, meaning children below 13 years old and below will be allowed admission if accompanied by an adult.
“Barbie” has also been granted permits for exhibition without cuts in other Asian countries such as Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea.
The movie sees “Barbie (Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gossling) having the time of their lives in the colorful and seemingly perfect world of Barbie Land. However, when they get a chance to go to the real world, they soon discover the joys and perils of living among humans.” Thus, the film's premise, “To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you're a Ken.”
For tickets, log on to www.barbiemovie.com.ph.
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