Last night I saw an imaginative, honest film about the world of emotions, Inside Out.
It will be difficult to review this title without using spoilers, but I will try.
Riley is an eleven year old girl: bright, goofy and caring. She has five emotions who take care of her: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust. Each emotion cares for Riley in their own way by activating the consul in her mind, but Joy has been there from the beginning. Joy is in charge, and most of Riley's memories involve Joy, including the very first memory Riley had when she was born. Then there's Sadness. Sadness is not very happy, and Joy likes happy. Whenever Sadness creeps in, Joy tries to push her out. But Sadness is an emotion, and she has a purpose, just like Fear, Disgust, Anger and Joy. In Riley's head, her emotions tie to specific memories, which create thoughts, ideas and actions. But Joy barely allows Sadness to affect Riley, and the problem begins when Sadness tries to run the show.
Since Riley turned eleven, Joy has been in control of her core memories, the memories that make Riley who she is. Each core memory creates an island of Riley's complex personality and helps Riley live from day to day, solving problems and creating actions.
Sadness tries to touch a core memory, and Joy panics.
That emotion surrounds the core memory, and Riley begins to cry. As Joy and Sadness try to control the core memories, Riley embarrasses herself on her first day of school.
Joy and Sadness get sucked in the memory tube, and they are thrown into a pile of memories, all organized in the long term part of Riley's brain.
Without Joy or Sadness, Riley's emotions go out of balance and chaos ensues. As Joy and Sadness try to return to the headquarters, where the emotions live, they must learn to work together and find a way to keep Riley healthy and happy.
But the longer Joy and Sadness are away from the consul, the weirder Riley begins to act, and the more strange her actions become. After all, the only emotions at the consul are Disgust, Fear and Anger.
This movie was amazing. From the way emotions are portrayed to work, and the fact that Riley's head is not the only head we enter. We see glimpses of the way her mother and father organize their emotions, and we learn that each consul is different, with a different emotion in charge. These emotions are a team who work together, and each functions in a way that keeps Riley happy. As the movie takes us through Riley's head, from imagination land to the subconscious, we see Riley learn to cope with moving to a new school, and trying to stay happy for her parents. But sometimes you need to express emotions that are neglected in order to move on.
I give this movie five out of five imaginary friends. It's a story within a story about learning, growing and adapting to change.