I watched Inside Out over the weekend. I had been meaning to watch it since it came out but as I have next to zero extra time in Ramadan to go to the movies, I didn’t get to watch it until just now.
Like pretty much everyone else in the world, I associate Pixar with great films. I loved the Toy Story series (Toy Story 3 is near perfect) and Monster’s Inc is on of my favorite films (“Put that thing back where it came from or so help me! It’s a musical!”). Love it.
Based on the reviews, I was expecting nothing less from Inside Out.
And then I watched it.
WHICH I WILL NEVER WATCH AGAIN.
Inside Out caused me incredible mental turmoil. I was in a constant state of stress and anxiety while watching it. I wish that, while I was sitting there in the theater, that I could pause it, go outside, take a few deep breaths, and return to watching the film.
So what happened, why did a kid’s film mess me up like that?
*SPOILERS* Read ahead only if you have seen the film or if you don’t mind knowing about important plot details.
The movie takes place mostly inside the head of Riley, an 11-year old girl and stars her emotions – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust. Joy is the dominant emotion, always wanting to be in control and making sure that Riley is more happy than not.
There are core memories that make up the essence of who Riley is. All of those are ones influenced by “Joy” and are therefore happy ones that make up different aspects of Riley – her happiness revolving around family, friends, ice hockey, and so forth.
The emotions get all mixed up when Riley moves with her family.
I have to say, it’s kind of neat how whoever came up with the story depicted how the inner workings of emotions and memories works.
My main point of anxiety came from when Joy and Sadness get sucked out of headquarters and have to make their way back while keeping all the core memories together, which are no longer “plugged in” so to speak to Riley. The problem is that this is most of the movie, meaning I was in a giant ball of anxiety for most of the film.
– The fact that Riley’s usual demeanor changed at a drop of a hat because of the above incident is crazy. The emotions, which she didn’t have any control over, had a squabble with set Riley in a downward spiral that led to her almost running away. All within a day!
– As it turns out, if Sadness touches a previously joyful memory, the memory itself turns from happy to a sad one with no way of turning it back. That scared me, that something could permanently turn sad without hope of it becoming joyful again.
– In regards to the core memories, there were times where it looked like either Joy may lose one or that Sadness may turn a core memory sad. Both of those scenarios were freaking me out since that would mean that Riley would forever lose something that had made her who she was in the first place.
– And dude, when Bing Bong, the imaginary friend, faded away completely? One kid in the audience burst into tears. Bing Bong no longer occupied any space in Riley’s mind. He wasn’t just gone, no memory of him even existed anymore.
Here’s the the thing – I know that the movie was going to have a happy ending and that everything was going to be resolved. But, even though I knew it, I didn’t believe it while I was watching it. I was afraid that Riley would never turn back into the person she used to be.
I get the film, I do. Joy realizes it’s not all about her and that Sadness can play a key role in Riley’s development as well – it’s okay to be sad and not have to hide behind happiness all the time. Some memories can be a bit of both and all the emotions have their place.
But for me, the lack of hope Inside Out exhibited throughout most of the film was emotionally draining.
*Whew* I feel better getting all that out.
I will forever and always look forward to and watch anything Pixar creates though. Looking forward to the next one!