- The original plan for the Barbie movie’s hit song would have diluted Ryan Gosling’s character and the film as a whole. The song embraces a larger character, including key changes and an iconic guitar riff that enhances character development and adds depth to the story.
- Without the larger character of “I’m Just Ken,” Ken’s character arc and emotional growth wouldn’t be as satisfying. The song provides the necessary momentum and climax for Ken to confront his insecurities and ultimately find a healthier self-image.
- “I’m Just Ken” is Ryan Gosling’s finest moment in the film, showcasing his vocal ability and emotional performance. The inclusion of this song was so important that the entire Ken fight scene was built around it, allowing the song to be integrated more directly and impactfully into the film.
The original plan was Barbie‘s “I’m Just Ken” song would hurt Ryan Gosling’s character and, by extension, the movie itself. Ken, played by Gosling, was initially portrayed as a sidekick to Barbie who was nothing but appearance. After being exposed to the real world, he learned about patriarchy and brought what he considered patriarchal ideology back to the other Kens. The Kens see the Kens as “accessories” to Barbie, but they end up feuding when they fail to win the sole attention and affection of their respective Barbies.
Without that fight, “I’m Just Ken” would be just another song. Not to mention, producer Mark Ronson said the song was originally only going to play a smaller role. When he first pitched the film to writer-director Greta Gerwig, it wasn’t finished. It doesn’t have the signature key changes, Slash’s guitar riffs, or Foo Fighter’s Josh Freese’s drums. Also, Rossen didn’t want it to be a big choreographed fight dance in the movie, but maybe just a song that played on the soundtrack. However, that plan didn’t stick – and the movie is all the better for it.
‘I’m Just Ken’: How Going Small Will Hurt Barbie
When first meeting Gosling’s Ken, it’s clear he only has one thing on his mind – typical Barbie attention. Despite Ken’s belief that patriarchy is horse-centric, he incites a hostile narrative in the film in which the Ken family takes over Barbie’s dream house, brainwashes the dolls into submission, and drinks alcohol.”Bruskis.In Ken’s power-driven anger at Barbie, he hints at his insecurities and feelings of inferiority over unrequited love, fueled by his comparisons with men in the real world and men in Barbie’s world. “I’m Just Ken” amplifies his motivations for founding Kendom as well as his other evil deeds.
If the movie had followed the original idea of ”I’m just Ken,” Ken might not have had enough momentum and climax to propel his character through this arc in a satisfying way. Without the spectacle and fun of the Ken family’s show, Ken’s eventual breakdown over Barbie, his admission of his own inadequacies and struggle with an identity crisis, wouldn’t have felt as earned. Furthermore, Barbie’s suggestion that he could be Ken without her doesn’t have much emotional resonance. He needs an elaborate catharsis, mirrored by the tongue-in-cheek humor throughout the film, so that he can gain a healthier self-image and realize his worth.
“I’m Just Ken” Is Ryan Gosling’s Ultimate Showcase Moment in Barbie
While Gosling’s Ken is effortless, from embracing Ken’s energy at the Barbie press conference to the moment audiences first see him playing Ken on the beach, “I’m just Ken” is where he really comes across in the film. Amazing moment. Not only does Gosling showcase his vocal talents, his dramatic, dance-like fights and emotional performance perfectly convey his struggles, such as questioning his fate and the pain he feels when Barbie doesn’t reciprocate his romantic feelings. Additionally, it escalates the epic battle of Ken into reconciliation and support between the brothers.
To further emphasize the importance of the song to the film, Rossum shared in a behind-the-scenes featurette that Ken’s fight scene was built around the song so that it could be included in a more direct way (via Wudu). By combining energetic folk vocals and unique rhythmic changes with eye-catching visuals and action, “I’m Just Ken” serves as an ideal showcase for Gosling’s Ken overcoming self-discovery and insecurities.Ken’s vulnerable side is juxtaposed with his attempts at stereotypical, patriarchal masculinity, thus helping to bring BarbieThe story reaches a positive conclusion that echoes the film’s message of self-acceptance.
Links: Barbie’s Original “I’m Just Ken” Plan Would’ve Made The Movie (& Ryan Gosling’s Role) Worse – Tekmonk Bio, Barbie’s Original “I’m Just Ken” Plan Would’ve Made The Movie (& Ryan Gosling’s Role) Worse – Kungfutv, Barbie’s Original “I’m Just Ken” Plan Would’ve Made The Movie (& Ryan Gosling’s Role) Worse – Blogtomoney