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The Takeover of Barbenheimer

From Amazon.com

Friday, July 21, 2023. The day the world was divided between “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer.” Which one to watch first? Which was better? How to dress? In complete juxtaposition people were dressed head to toe in pink or black in support of their movie of choice.  

 Before the movies came out, the internet went ballistic over the contrasting atmospheres of each respective movie. “Barbie” was supposedly lighthearted and cheerful while “Oppenheimer” was morbid and melancholy. From memes to trailers combining both movies, audiences reached peak creativity in anticipation of the release date. Although from a distance, they seem like complete opposites, they might have more in common than just the release date. 

“Barbie” features Margot Robbie as Barbie, Ryan Gosling as Ken, along with America Ferrera, Issa Rae, Kate McKinnon, Emma Mackley, Michael Cera, Simu Liu, and many other credible actors. The movie begins with the different Barbies and Kens living peacefully in Barbieland until Barbie snaps out of her traditional self. She begins thinking about death which causes her to develop flat feet – oh no, how will she wear her heels? This follows an assortment of negative consequences, which turns out to be utterly dreadful in Barbieland. When she travels to the real world with Ken, she faces life as a human woman. She experiences human emotions for the first time, such as crying and sadness. She also comes to the realization that women are treated completely differently in the human world. They are constantly disrespected and not taken seriously. 

Ken quickly finds out this is the complete opposite for men, as he learns about the patriarchy and sets off for Barbieland to teach the other Kens about it. This mirrors the issues that society faces regarding how men and women are viewed from different perspectives. As the plot progresses, Barbie has an epiphany that she isn’t meant to be in Barbieland anymore, as she has experienced being a human and wants to live her life as one. 

The Beacon checked in with students at Hills to capture their Barbie feelings. “I feel like it brought about a lot of current world issues in a very light and humorous way that made it very entertaining for everyone to watch and also got a great message across to everyone who couldn’t understand female issues.” an anonymous student shared.

On the other hand, “Oppenheimer” is a biographical film that tells the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, played by Cillian Murphy, and Jean Tatlock,  who is played by Florence Pugh, along with a cast starring Robert Downey Jr, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, and others. Robert Oppenheimer was a brilliant physicist who played a key role in developing the first atomic bomb during World War II. The film explores his life, work, and the ethical dilemmas surrounding the creation of the atomic bomb. It delves into the challenges, decisions, and historical events that led to the development of this powerful and destructive weapon. 

“I think the historical context of the first nuclear bomb was the most interesting part, the cinematography was wonderful, and the acting was awesome,” a student told The Beacon when expressing their personal reaction to “Oppenheimer.”

Northeastern Global News

The movie highlights Oppenheimer’s complex character and his role in one of the most significant scientific and historical moments of the 20th century, as well as his personal life. 

Now, how are they similar? Both focus on products made by humans that had a significant impact on the world: Barbie dolls and a nuclear bomb. Though they are vastly different, both played a vital role in many people’s lives. Whether it be on a global scale or a personal level, both movies exhibit the nature of humans and our world. When Barbie enters the real world, she realizes it’s not perfect by far and is instead filled with malice. That is also the reality of Oppenheimer; he created something so powerful that people used it for hateful purposes.

This is just the real world. The real world, where Barbie faced hardship and where people used bombs. Both movies eventually led us to the reality of our own world. So, are you dressing in pink or in black?

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About the Contributor
Bhargavi Patel
Bhargavi Patel, Entertainment/Lifestyle Section Editor
Bhargavi, a junior in the Carl Sagan program, has a diverse set of interests that keep her busy. She finds joy in crocheting, painting, reading, writing, and learning different languages, and she's a bit of a TV show enthusiast, not hesitating to rewatch her favorites. Bhargavi's involvement within The Beacon allows her to unleash her creative side and express herself. Her primary aim is to create a stronger sense of community among the readers and ensure inclusivity for all. Beyond The Beacon, she is an active member of multiple school clubs, including the Filipino Club and Cybersecurity Club. She's also joined her friends to launch the Caribbean Club. Furthermore, she's a member of the Case Academy.
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