Pixar, the animation company from Disney, blew everyone away with their first movie Toy Story. There was no looking as their movies (and the shorts that preceded the main movie) took huge strides to new heights. There’ve been some very memorable movies (Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Up) but in the last few years, there seemed to have been a slight decline in the quality of their movies (Cars 2, Brave, Monsters University).
Having watched Inside Out over this past weekend, I cannot tell you how much I loved this movie. Pixar, my friends, have a hit a gold mine with this movie. I am upset that I missed this movie at the theaters, but nonetheless am glad I saw it.
The concept that is explored in Inside Out is not new but it’s the treatment meted out in the hands of a very talented director Pete Docteur that brings a whole new level of freshness, power and emotions into the movie, being able to tap into the most hardest of hard of hearts.
We meet five emotions- Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear and Anger—who live inside the mind of a young girl Riley Anderson. From the moment Riley is born, the five Emotions take control of her life through a console in the mind’s Headquarter. It is Joy who primarily leads the mind. Riley’s memories are stored in little orbs, with five main memories that stay in the Hub—memories that deal with family, honesty, friendships and so on.
Up until the age of 11, everything is going on well with Riley and her emotions, when suddenly her life is turned upside down when the family has to move away to San Francisco from Minnesota. Inside the mind of Riley, Joy and Sadness have a tussle and are accidentally ejected from the Headquarters into a maze-like Long Term storage area. This means only Disgust, Fear and Anger are able to control Riley, who’s devoid of expressing any joy or sadness.
Joy and Sadness through a series of adventures (entering the world of Abstract Thought, climbing aboard the Train of Thought, entering the world of Imagination, meeting Bing Bong, Riley’s imaginary friend and so on) try to get back to the Headquarters, which forms the crux of the story.
This is a Pixar movie and so the ending is a happy one, where everything is sorted out and each of the emotions, especially Sadness, find out their true purpose.
This is a Pixar movie, and so I won’t get into the brilliant technicalities of the movie. The animation is top notch, the scenarios are wildly imaginative and the plotline is hugely novel.
The primary reason why I loved this movie was because it dealt with the psychological and emotional aspect of a human being so well, something that’s so rare for a kiddie movie. In fact, the Emotions’ world inside the human mind is portrayed so cleverly, one cannot help but be impressed by the writers of the movie for creating such an intricate and detailed world of memories (yes, we get to know about Memory Dump, Long Term Memory and so on.)
Another beautiful point that’s driven home is that a human cannot be perpetually ‘joyful’ all the time, as Joy tries to do with Riley in the movie, and it’s only human to be sad. Joy sidelines Sadness to the extent that neither of them is sure what Sadness’ purpose is. It’s only at the end when we see Sadness take over and drive Riley to the point where she breaks down and expresses her sadness that the family is able to heal. In short, it’s perfectly all right to be sad and breakdown because it’s from that moment that one can heal and regain happiness. We need to fall down to be able to get back up stronger.
The world we live in has convinced a lot of us that we need to stay happy all the time- get married, you will be happy; have children, you will be happy; get a Masters degree, you will be happy; buy the new car, you will be happy; travel the world, you will be happy and so on. They leave no room for other emotions, in fact, it’s only now that people are talking about mental health and depression, with major celebrities coming out with their stories. More and more people are coming to terms, especially men, when it comes to dealing with emotions.
Inside Out is a moving and emotional movie that transcends the norms and takes the audience into the inner workings of a human mind and shows that in order to maintain a healthy balanced life, all your emotions need to be in sync with one another. Yes, that means Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear and Anger all have to work together to give you a rich, well-experienced life.
5 out of 5