"Barbie" exceeded 1.3 billion at the global box office, netizens listed three major contradictions in the theme, and scattered stories were still spit on
Recently, the global box office of the movie "Barbie" has exceeded 1.3 billion.
However, the film has a mediocre box office in the mainland, and at the same time faces a mixed reputation, which is very intriguing.
In my eyes, the themes expressed in Barbie seem contradictory and ambiguous, which leads to its narrative fragmentation.
No matter how high the box office it gets, it can't get my recognition and love. I sorted out the three contradictions in the core idea of "Barbie" and proposed a solution at the end.
Contradiction 1: Dissolve stereotypes, but create stereotypes
At the beginning, the theme of "Barbie" was actually very clear, that is, to resist patriarchy, speak for women, and emphasize and value the self-reliance and personality awakening of women around the world.
There is nothing wrong with this positioning, it is universal, and in the current atmosphere of public opinion, no one will openly oppose or feel violated.
But that's the problem, you put forward a position of resistance, and everyone applauds in approval, and the rebellion loses its strength. The most important thing is that for a film, the core conflict that provides the narrative power is lost.
So there must be conflict.
How to manufacture? That is to arrange Barbie to awaken from one stereotypical world and then move to another stereotypical world?
The Barbie pink world that first appeared is also a childhood memory that we know more or less. It's full of innocence, dreaminess, imagination, and at the same time stereotypes.
Note that many aesthetic theories emphasize the rich, colorful, boundless childhood imagination of the child's world. But "Barbie" is not a children's world, but a solid color world created by adults based on the imagination and speculation of children's preferences (and perhaps accurate market research), which cannot be a reflection of reality, let alone the whole of children's world.
In fact, it is not only children who consume Barbie now, a large number of adults are mixed with it, and they decorate life with derivatives of the "Barbie world", such as the same lipstick, skirts, shapes, etc.
The protagonist Barbie is carefree at first, and then suddenly awakens one day, tired of pink, tired of heels that cannot be put down. She was going to start fleeing.
The destination she fled was another stereotypical world occupied by patriarchal thinking.
The details of the patriarchal society need not be said, from feminist experts and scholars to scrappy female boxers on the Internet, all have made various exposures and analyses. Such as gender discrimination in the workplace, stereotypes in appearance and temperament, bullying and harassment in life, and so on.
The details of patriarchal society will not be discussed and analyzed here. This rigid patriarchal world naturally needs to be broken together.
And with Barbie came Ken, a "slick" man who enjoyed the advantages of patriarchal society for men, and then suffered the pain of stereotypes.
And then what? There will be no then.
Barbie creates these stereotypical societies, perceptions, and characters, and then can't discuss them anymore. Because the director suddenly found that this topic also faced the possibility of conflict being naturally resolved.
More importantly, this is a commercial film in itself, the purpose is to please more audiences, even if it is possible to exclude male audiences in order to resist patriarchy, but how can deeper reflection be dissolved?
Contradiction 2: Pick out the opposition, but there is no way to alleviate it
In addition to gender opposition, "Barbie" began to try to move towards a broader field, such as personalized aesthetic cognition, and self-awareness to control life.
This is a cliché theme that is commonplace in Hollywood movies: you can't follow the crowd, you have to live your self; You can't go with the flow, you have to control your life.
From Forrest Gump to The Devil Wears Prada, from Fast and Furious to Spider-Man: Across the Universe, such topics are talked about all the time.
But "Barbie" lacks a real and credible story and cannot provide deeper emotional support, so what to do? Continue to provoke confrontation.
The little girl questioned her mother, the men questioned each other, Barbie questioned her own life, everyone questioned the relationship between the sexes, the social class, and the choices of life.
And then what? Again there is no then.
Because these so-called "opposites" identified in "Barbie", except for a few issues such as patriarchy and personality, many are meaningless details, or called "false propositions".
Suit shoes and pink lace, are they opposites?
Is plain face and heavy makeup considered opposites?
Oil head flour and rough masculinity, are they opposites?
This is only the detailed choice of aesthetic preferences and living habits, there is no conflict at all, and it is completely impossible to take it out as a conflicting subject.
If you do that, others will treat you like a mentally immature child.
As a result, by the second half of "Barbie", in fact, the narrative has completely collapsed, the conflict tension has dissipated, and the entire story can only rely on inertia to develop scatteredly. The ending is difficult to end, so arrange a song and dance; The story lacks conclusion, so it gives some "living out yourself" and "personality choice" on the road, and the essential problem is completely ignored.
Contradiction 3: Raising problems is difficult to solve fundamentally
Going back to the original topic, Barbie focuses on rebelling against a rigid patriarchal society.
So, does it propose a final solution? And it didn't.
"Barbie" shows that because of the stereotype of patriarchal society, both men and women suffer harm, and everyone has the right to self-awareness.
However, it is all built on some kind of basis. This basic condition has been vague and not clearly expressed in Barbie. In the mainstream Hollywood narrative and the "white left" discourse system, it will definitely avoid talking about it.
What foundation is needed to achieve equal rights for all and individual awakening? That is equal rights throughout the country and the world, and the awakening of everyone.
What does this mean?
For example, on the issue of carbon emissions, the "white left" has constantly demanded to reduce carbon emissions in previous years, and has come up with corresponding standards and limits. But the limits they propose are on a country-by-country basis, not a per capita basis, and we in China and India have countless times the population of them, and once averaged, each of us has a pitiful amount of carbon emissions.
In addition, they hold the voice of science and technology, military and finance firmly in their hands, and only allow us to survive on low-end industries with high energy consumption and large emissions.
For example, the topic of gender has always been a good topic that has aroused heated discussions. But on most occasions, the atmosphere is friendly and gentle, because after all, it is also an "internal dispute" of human beings, and everyone, whether men, women or children, is showing their individuality while paying due attention to public feelings.
Yin and yang, water and milk blend, this world is inseparable from any gender, and this is also the foundation for the growth of all things and the reproduction of human beings.
Once upon a time, it seemed that gender harmony should be placed low, and a variety of other genders and orientations should be vigorously promoted? If you don't, you will be labeled as old-fashioned, stereotyped.
However, if all of them are unified into the "white left" hope is correct, is it another kind of stereotype? Just like Barbie.
The revealing and discussion of these essences, the director of "Barbie" obviously does not intend this, and at the same time can do nothing. So quickly arrange a few songs and dances to end this chaotic story, so as not to let it fall into the dilemma of getting out of control.
In fact, the solution is not impossible. All are hidden in our ancient texts, in our "Chinese wisdom" that has lasted for 5,000 years.
It is written in the Tao Te Ching: Therefore, there is no coexistence, difficulty and easy to achieve each other, long and short are comparable, high and low are inclined to each other, sound and sound are harmonious, and front and back follow.
"Mencius, Dedication to the Heart": Integrity and peace in one's own ability, and benefit the world at the same time.
When thinking, you can try to drill as deep as possible, but in specific life matters, do not be too extreme and precise, the so-called "rare confusion", as long as you grasp the mainstream trend, not too far from control, you can relax moderately.
But the creative team behind "Barbie" seems to always believe in the thinking of the strong, believing that "either the east wind overwhelms the west wind, or the west wind overwhelms the east wind", even if we harvest more box office and master more wealth, we will not learn our long-term wisdom due to snobbery, flexibility and endurance.