Voice cast: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Kaitlyn Dias
Directed by: Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
How often would you find a critic begin a review by first giving 5 stars to a film. Well, that’s testimony to the quality of the film and above all, how ‘Inside Out’ is a film that truly leaves you stunned! As a matter of fact, I’m still having goose bumps as write about my teary-yet-blissful experience of watching the animated flick. To tell you the truth, it’s a privilege to have watched ‘Inside Out’
I’m not great a fan of Navjot Singh Sidhu, but I can’t help but borrow one of his Sidhuism. i.e. ‘A man is made of nothing but emotions’ That holds true for every human being, as it is emotions that trigger every action by us, be it joy, sadness, fear, disgust, or anger. Now, imagine if each of these emotions were given life form and each of them doing their task, all of it in your conscious mind. Together they run a factory in you, storing recycling each memory, with the common goal of seeing you happy forever after.
Conceived and directed by Pete Docter, ‘Inside out’ is a truly out of the box, or should we say inside the box film. The film traces the emotional journey of a 11-year-old girl Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) as she struggles to cope with her life following the family’s decision to move from Minnesota to San Francisco.
Troubled by the child’s plight, her five emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadnesss (Phyliss Smith), Disgust, Fear, and Anger strive hard to make the child happy. Joy believes that Riley can be made to feel better if she can rekindle Riley’s 5 best core memories – the best of which are the kid’s early days of wielding the ice hockey stick. To make this a success, she needs to keep Sadness away from touching these core memories. Trouble brews when Sadness accidentally touches these core memories, leading to Riley breaking down on her first day in school in San Francisco. The ensuing chaos at control console (headquarters) leads to Sadness and Joy (possessing the core memories) being sucked out of the headquarters through the memory tube leading to the rest of Riley’s mind.
Meanwhile, all attempts by Fear, Disgust, and Anger to make Riley happy only end up in disasters. Poor Riley is so depressed that she decides to run away form home and head to Minnesota. The only way that Riley can be saved is if Joy makes it back to the headquarters. That, though, proves to be a herculean task as all their early efforts lead to disappointment. But in this quest, Joy and Sadness comes across Bing Bong, Riley’s imaginary friend who helps Joy make it to the headquarters in the nick of time.
Joy and Sadness’ journey though takes us down memory lane, one that exposes us to various school of thoughts, forlorn memories, nightmares. Often most of us lose these memories to our adolescence.
The film displays many a magical scenes that evoke both a sense of joy and sadness. Take the scene where Riley’s imaginary friend Bing Bong helps Joy reach the headquarters but himself is left behind as he long forgotten by Riley. Wonder how many of us can recall our such friends?
Similarly, take the scene where Riley returns from school all depressed and all her parents efforts’ to cheer her up only lead to an ugly spat. Pure reminiscence of our early days.
Amy Poehler’s ‘joy’ ful voice really touches the core of your heart, while Phyllis Smith has you in splits with all her cribbing and ‘Sadness’. ‘Mad About You’ star Lewis Black ‘s rants as ‘Anger’ evoked abundant cheers among the audience and Kaitlyn Dias voice blends perfectly with every emotion, with every word coming out from Riley’s mouth.
But the core credit must go to the two directors Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen for creating a world that we’ve never seen or imagined before. Actually, creating a new world has been done by James Cameron. So, Docter and Carmen should be credited for creating a world of our emotions.
Some may disagree, but I strongly believe that, thus far, Inside Out is arguably the finest film of 2015. Sadly, it might have lost millions to the dinosaurs of Jurassic World, but even those reptiles must have inhabited ‘Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust’. If one doesn’t come out shedding tears of joy after watching ‘Inside Out‘ then they surely must have lost their core memories to oblivion.