Inside Out: A Review
Directed by Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen, Inside Out is an inspirational roller-coaster of emotions, with the message being that ‘sadness IS necessary.’
Riley is uprooted from her idyllic Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Anger (Lewis Black) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith), she has to cope with a new school, new house and new friends. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control centre inside Riley’s mind, where they help guide her through everyday life.
As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to the new life in San Francisco, Joy and Sadness get sucked out of Headquarters, and have to weave their way back through Riley’s long term memory with the help of her childhood imaginary friend, Bing Bong (Richard Kind).
Can they get back to headquarters before everything that makes up Riley, disappears into her subconscious?
Inside Out is a good film. It does exactly what it says on the tin, providing the audience with an intriguing plot and radiant characters. However, it isn’t spectacular unlike other Disney Pixar films.
Joy is a confident ball of energy, who goes on an emotional and soul-searching journey. She is bubbly and fun, but this can become annoying towards the middle. Sadness is a loveable lump, the unconventional underdog who is the real hero in the end. Disgust is the teenage angst hiding in Riley’s subconscious. She is witty, blunt and sarcastic, providing the film with some of its funniest moments. Anger is irrational, out of control and hilariously relatable. Fear is a wimp, scared of his own shadow but protecting Riley is his passion.
Together, the characters are electric. The cast is expertly chosen, with them merging together perfectly to create reliable, funny and vibrant characters who are fun and captivating.
Sadness is without a doubt the best character. She is misunderstood, miserable and left out by the other emotions because of her depressive nature. She is an ideal allegory for depression, and therefore a wonderful example to teenagers and adults that with sadness comes joy, fear, disgust and anger. Without an element of sadness throughout one’s life, you can’t experience the other emotions. This wonderfully positive message gives the film a deep meaning and is completely relatable to an older audience.
The powerful journey travelled by polar opposites Joy and Sadness is mesmerising and fun. Their entertaining differences are illuminated when paired with utterly delightful Bing Bong. By the two different emotions working together, they are able to become stronger than ever and unite to save Riley. This beautifully heart-warming message is a perfect life lesson for young children, showing that what makes us different can bring us together. This stunning aspect of Inside Out is insightful, inspiring and emotionally uplifting.
What stops this film from being perfection is that it is repetitive in parts, with the journey hitting the same snag over and over. The climax, although brilliantly entertaining, wasn’t strong enough and didn’t have a big enough build up, which can result in the audience feeling dissatisfied with the ending.
However, Inside Out is still a widely enjoyable, touching tale of friendship, family, growing up and coping with your emotions. It will have you laughing, cheering and crying.
Inside Out will stay with you.