July 21, 2023 is approaching and the world is eagerly anticipating a monumental showdown between two highly anticipated films: Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, in what looks like a clash of the titans moment.
Now, the makers of Barbie have unveiled an official music video titled “Just Ken”, featuring Ryan Gosling.
In the song, Ken grapples with an existential dilemma, pondering what his existence would be like without Barbie. Despite Barbie (Margot Robbie) trying to reassure him by affirming “You are Ken”, he retorts, “But it’s ‘Barbie and Ken’. There is no ‘just Ken.’”
“Doesn’t seem to matter what I do, I am always number two. No one knows how hard I tried… I have feelings that I can’t explain,” Ken sings as he pours his heart out in tune with the melancholic music.
Continuing his reflection, Ken acknowledges that within Barbie’s realm, he is perceived as “just Ken” without any exceptional qualities, whereas elsewhere he could have been highly regarded as a 10. He contemplates whether it is his destiny to live and die a life of blonde fragility. Additionally, he articulates the profound sadness stemming from Barbie’s lack of reciprocation towards the love he wholeheartedly bestows upon her. He also urges everyone to “see the man behind the tan”.
Penned by Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt, the song has been sung by Gosling himself. Just Ken is described as a sentimental “80s power ballad”.
“I’m so psyched. We worked on it for about a year after Gosling did the vocals. After I sent him the final version, with Slash on it, he was psyched and satisfied, which is what you want to do when you’re making a sound for someone,” soundtrack producer Mark Ronson told Variety.
Written by Greta Gerwig and her husband and renowned filmmaker Noah Baumbach, this is the first live-action Barbie film. Barbie is bankrolled jointly by David Heyman, Margot Robbie, Tom Ackerley and Robbie Brenner. The film also stars America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae and Will Ferrell in pivotal roles.
According to Reuters, the movie shows Barbie living her idyllic life in Barbie World alongside her beau Ken, until one day, she starts having dark thoughts and flat feet. She discovers that whoever was playing with the doll in the real world was causing the changes, so Barbie and Ken decide to enter reality to fix the situation – only to learn more about themselves.
Margot Robbie recently said she was bewildered by the love fans are showing for the movie before its worldwide release in cinemas. “I knew how excited we felt about sharing this movie and I had hoped that other people would feel that excitement too but it’s kind of come back at us with so much enthusiasm and excitement, I’m even shocked, very shocked,” Robbie told Reuters at the film’s world premiere in Los Angeles.
The initial reactions from notable critics, following the world premiere of the film, have been varied, ranging from mixed to overwhelmingly positive.