July 18, 2015

Movie: Inside Out (2015)

Filed under: Hollywood Movies — Tags: , , , , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 4:33 pm

imageThe reviews are definitely fawning. One typical review says that the reviewer doubted the ability of the Pixar team to do good movies anymore but he (or was it a she?) is glad that ‘they are back’.

I agree with that review up to a point. Pixar seems to have lost the ability to make exceptional movies that shake up the media. The Toy Story was a brand new concept and they followed it up with incredible movies like, well, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., Up and Wall-E.

Come to think of it, Ratatouille was also not bad, not bad at all. Somewhere there, they seem to have lost their mojo. There was a time when they made only serials of the (now not so hot) Toy Story or the not so incredible Cars and Planes. I grant you that these movies also appeal to kids, but there was nothing in it for adults. In the meanwhile, others seem to have caught up. Dreamworks came up with the Shrek series and Universal came up with the adorable concept of Despicable Me, where the first two movies were fabulous. The third one? I will give you my views in another post. The only half decent movie Pixar has come up with recently is  Big Hero 6 but I would not classify that as outstanding.

Even Disney, which bought Pixar over, seemed to find its old magic in the amazing Frozen.  Pixar? They seem to continuously miss the mark and this movie, Inside Out is also one of the misses. Sad to see the once revolutionary company get mired in sequels and tired concepts.

Inside Out has an interesting premise for sure. It talks about the mental processes that drive us. To make it interesting, all emotions have been given a persona. Joy (played by Amy Poehler of Parks and Recreation fame) is there, Sadness (Phyllis Smith of the Office fame) are there, as is Fear and Anger. Disgust (Mindy Kaling, also from Office) and others.

It may be very useful as a documentary to explain psychology  but as a commercial movie, it leaves a lot to be desired. Each event is a coloured ball of memory (happy, sad, angry) and some of them are key memories. There are islands of support (though none of the emotions ever go to any island; they are just there at the end of radiating poles from the central place where they “live”. Weird.

It even gets weirder. Every emotion takes its place in the controls, pushing others away – OK, I see what that means in practice. Anger pushes away joy, sadness etc momentarily and takes over. But sometimes everybody sits around and cheers joy or helps her get life back on track. Sadness and disgust helping joy gain control? Good as a children’s concept but does not jell with the basic premise.

It gets even weirder. The childhood imaginary friend is still rooting around, looking like a character from Dr Seuss book which wandered into this story. The Train of Thought is a weird train that goes and stops at will and is hard to catch. Don’t even get me started on the clown and the weird party.

All in all, it sounds like an attempt to educate with random characters doing random things that makes no sense altogether. Just one example : Joy and sadness get lost and need to get back to the control room to save the girl? Well? What does that represent?

I know that there is a link in everything to the mental processes of people and is cutely portrayed, but if it is not obvious to a layman like me, what is the movie trying to tell me?

Not a very bad movie or anything but it does not justify the hype or the expectations set by early Pixar movies.

4 / 10



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