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Barbenheimer

A collection of stories to recap some of the most major events of 2023
Barbenheimer

Barbie World or Destroyer of Worlds? This is the question that plagued many people this past summer.  No matter which one you watched, you most likely left the theater feeling like your money was well spent, but which movie was better? If we are looking at the overall Rotten Tomatoes score, Oppenheimer beats Barbie with a score of 93% to 88%. However, that is not the only aspect to consider. Both movies have a star studded cast with Barbie starring Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie, and Oppenheimer starring Cillian Murphy and Matt Damon. While box office sales are always a competition, the stars of each were vocal on social media about watching their competition’s movies. 

While on paper they performed similarly, the concepts within each film is what let the “Barbenheimer” trend take off. Barbie focused on a more feminist and women empowerment theme were throughout the movie Barbie transforms from a society where women held most of the power to the real world where Barbie realizes that power isn’t what women in the real world have; however, this type of movie didn’t match everyone’s taste “Ryan Gosling is him, but I didn’t like the rest of it” stated Micco. 

Oppenheimer’s major theme was one that strongly contrasted the women empowerment theme of Barbie. Oppenheimer opens with a biopic of Robert J. Oppenheimer’s early years as a professor at UC Berkeley who is consistently is faced with the rising ideas of communism throughout America that would later lead to doubt about his allegiance. Oppenheimer’s goal was to make a name for himself and be a part of a project that means something. Throughout his endeavors, regarding The Manhattan Project, he is faced with implementing all of his previous teachings regarding Quantum Mechanics and the moral dilemma of building a megabomb. After the bomb is eventually dropped on Hiroshima and then Nagasaki, Oppenheimer realizes that his want for a nobel prize and the ability to reap the rewards for his genius have consequently resulted in the death of thousands and given the world the power to “destroy themselves.” Many students appreciated this level of detail with one student, Noah Williams, stating that word choice like “hearing the music” made him think in depth about the symbolism between that and understanding physics. This contrast between the films fueled a plethora of memes contrasting happy things like puppies to the dismal and depressing theme of Oppenheimer.   

For some the slow and sad pacing of Oppenheimer made them fall asleep or be bored, and for some the unrealistic and comedic aspects of Barbie were too ridiculous for some film enthusiasts to enjoy. In the end, both movies excited the audience and blew sales through the roof in the box office, amassing 2.396 billion dollars at the box office with both movies were nominated and will most likely win Oscars this January.

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About the Contributor
Maddox Johnson, News Reporter
Class of 2025 Maddox Johnson is serving his first year on staff. He enjoys watching movies and golfing in his free time.

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