Film #165: Inside Out (2015)

p1307955201-3Director: Peter Docter & Ronnie del Carmen
Language: English
Length: 94 minutes
Watched: 23 Oct 2015

I watched this movie after hearing about it a lot in reviews and other places, and seeing a lot of gifs and other screencaps from it on the internet. A lot of people had been saying that it’s a return to form for Pixar, and it definitely seems to be the frontrunner in the race for the Oscars next month.

It’s an inventive idea, that each person’s head has in it a cast of emotions running the day-to-day happenings inside their brain. Without the stuff going on inside the head throughout the movie, the rest of the story isn’t particularly complicated: a girl called Riley and her family move across America from Wisconsin to San Francisco, and shortly thereafter, she reacts badly and gets very homesick.

Inside her head, the character of Joy (excellently performed by Amy Poehler) is trying desperately to keep control, and to keep Sadness locked away, but a spat between them leads to them getting thrown out of the control room – reflected in real life by Riley becoming numb with a kind of depression, and having her other emotions – Anger, Fear and Disgust – take over. Joy and Sadness then go through a series of antics to try and get back to the control room.

I think the movie was very well-balanced, and the comedic moments contrasted well with the relatability of the emotions that Riley goes through upon moving so far from her home. As such, I was affected quite strongly, as I can see some of the way she acts in my own life too.

It also has a simple message that to me, seems obvious, but has to be recognized, as it’s easy to forget: having a balance between joy and sadness in one’s life is necessary, and one shouldn’t try to repress sadness too much, as it’s an important part of the human experience.

I also loved looking into the other characters’ heads – we only get brief glimpses, mostly in the closing moments of the film during the credits, or during one particular scene with the parents, so ideally I’d like to see more!


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