Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

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Barbenheimer: Revisited

Barbie is now available on most On Demand services, but for the high price of $24.99 due to how recently the movie has ended its lucrative theatrical run. (Photo Credit: Parker Bradl)

The world is still recovering from the events of July 21st, 2023, the day Barbenheimer made landfall in all of its nuclear pink glory. The dual release of Christopher Nolan’s eponymous masterpiece covering the relationship of “The Father of the Atomic Bomb” Robert J. Oppenheimer’s relationship to his role in creating the then deadliest weapon known to mankind, and the light-hearted comedy Barbie by Greta Herwig, broke the internet with how two such tonally different movies could somehow coexist in theaters at the same time. Perhaps most surprisingly, much of the same audience went to see both movies, as viral videos and tweets debated the order in which the two films should be seen, and somewhere along the way the portmanteau “Barbenheimer” was formed, forever inextricably linking the fates of the two movies together in the collective pop culture consciousness. 

However, millions of opinions and dollars later, the films are finishing up their run at the box office, and the viewing public now has the benefit of hindsight in which to judge the significance of the two films in the pop culture zeitgeist, and how they were able to be powerful enough to dismantle the commercial juggernaut that was Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One in just its second weekend, and unify warring Dark Knight and Barbie fans in the common love of film. Naturally, the best source of information on the impact of “Barbenheimer” is from the segment of the population that watches the most movies, a segment of the population that almost exclusively goes to high schools such as Hingham High. 

“I think they’re movies you just have to watch together, they enrich each other and they are incredible historic films both about important inventions in mid 1900s America”, said Tommy Parker, an 11th grade student at Hingham High. Although the movies may look very different if you were to judge them based off of their posters, their common themes of death, and the value of the human experience have imparted hefty lessons encased within the packaging of a summer blockbuster. Of the comedy Barbie, Tommy said “I liked how existential it was, it really subverted my expectations”, while Joe Andrews, another junior at HHS, liked how Oppenheimer similarly challenged his preconceived notions going in, stating “I thought it was long, but they didn’t make it feel that long, the pacing was really good.” While the promise of seeing an atomic bomb explosion or such an iconic figure as Barbie brought to live action by an all star cast may have been what initially drew audiences to view “Barbenheimer”, what audiences got instead were extremely well made movies, that not only entertained, but imparted deep philosophical insight that has stayed with audiences long after they have forgotten the more specific details of the films.

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  • K

    K. BreslinOct 3, 2023 at 8:23 am

    This was an awesome read and really insightful review of the two movies!