Barbie 2023 full trailer: An existential crisis in a perfect world

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The truth of the universe can be found in Birkenstocks.

Remember that next time you’re having an existential crisis, like Barbie clearly is in the newly released full trailer for Greta Gerwig’s anticipated movie starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.

The trailer is the third video to drop as part of Barbie’s marketing campaign in the lead-up to its July release and it’s the first time it has shed light on what Barbie will actually be about.

Previously, we had seen dazzling costumes, eye-popping production design and a Ken-on-Ken beach beef. But we didn’t have a story – until now.

The latest trailer reveals the outline of what to expect, and that’s Barbie searching for answers – maybe being pushed to search for answers – after she starts to question her own existence.

Barbieland is being framed as a perfect world, where everything is shiny and happy and where today is “the best day ever and so is yesterday and so is tomorrow and every day from now until forever”.

But we all know perfection is a curse more than a blessing, honestly, who needs it?

So, when Robbie’s Barbie asks aloud, “You guys ever think about dying?”, the music screeches and the other Barbies are horrified to have such a negative thought uttered in their presence. Dying? What is that even?

When Barbie goes to see Weird Barbie (Kate McKinnon), the sage outsider gives her a choice in the form of two shoes – the pink satin stiletto heel or the humble-but-actually-kind-of-expensive Birkenstock. They represent complacency or discovery, acceptance or defiance, arched or flat feet.

Venturing into the “Real World”, Barbie and Ken (Gosling) encounter a bunch of new experiences, including regularly dressed people, a Mattel exec (Will Ferrell) who needs to contain the bonkers idea that Barbie is, uh, real.

There’s also a glimpse of Barbie and Ken rollerblading on beach in their hypercolour outfits, being arrested, ultimate himbo Ken trying to convince a doctor to allow him to perform an appendectomy just because he’s a man, and Barbie needing people to believe in the magic of her existence.

If the latter sounds like a familiar plot point, punters online have pointed out that the story of a fish-out-water toy in our world is not dissimilar to Elf, or maybe that’s just because of the Ferrell connection.

Either way, if someone is going to be able embed a layer of existential epiphany among the kaleidoscopic visuals of the Barbie movie, it’s going to be Gerwig whose two previous films, Lady Bird and Little Women, were both nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.

Gerwig also co-wrote the film with creative and real-life partner Noah Baumbach. It also stars Issa Rae, Hari Nef, Simu Liu, Michael Cera, Emerald Fennell, America Ferrera, John Cena, Ncuti Gatwa, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Alexandra Shipp, Emma Mackey, Dua Lipa and Nicola Coughlan.

Barbie will be in cinemas on July 20.

Originally published as Barbie full trailer: An existential crisis in a perfect world

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