Today’s Golden Globe for best animated picture went to Inside Out. I am going to take this opportunity to talk about a film which truly deserves it.
I didn’t rush to see it. I thought that Inside Out was a bit too overthought a concept. There are so many places in which a film about personified emotions could go wrong. I liked the trailer, but I wasn’t sure that the witty concept could support a film-long plot. How lucky I was to be so mistaken. I can’t wait to watch it again. I have been using Pixar characters to express my emotions on Facebook ever since I have seen it.
What is Inside Out about, really?
On one level it’s about a girl called Riley and her parents. The family moves from the Midwest to San Francisco and Riley finds it extremely difficult to manage during the move. On another level, Inside Out is a heartbreaking exploration of what makes human beings human. Different aspects of Riley’s personality are shown to depend equally on her mental attitudes as well as on circumstance. The move to a different place has perhaps too much of an impact on Riley. Yet instead of having a typical movie about tough pre-teenagehood, we are greeted with a psychological and personalised explanation of what is going on in Riley’s brain. Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger are all characters; (all with distinctive colour patterns) and these basic emotions control every human being we meet in the film. Thus the events going on outside Riley’s head are shown interacting with the world of emotions inside her. Emotions as revealed as controlling her behavior in ways that do not simply fit into her own head. Inside becomes out. The main problem of the story is not the move they make to a different place, but Riley’s attitude towards it.
Joy, who used to be in control of Riley’s brain, suddenly finds she has no impact on it anymore. We face a very sensitive portrayal of preteen depression. Riley loses the ability to feel anything but Anger, Fear and Disgust. Joy and Sadness decide to come to the rescue. Yet there remains the agonizing question of what can be rescued: as Riley struggles not only with her current problems, but with the imminent prospect of growing up…
Image credits: “Inside Out (2015 film) poster” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Inside_Out_(2015_film)_poster.jpg#/media/File:Inside_Out_(2015_film)_poster.jpg