Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Inside Out

Inside Out only opened in Singapore in August 27 although it was out since a few months ago in the US. The reviews have been very positive and I was looking forward to it, despite the somewhat bland and confusing plot when you read the synopsis.

I am confused about the main character of the movie as the story is about 5 emotions (Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear) present in Riley's mind from her birth up to her moving house to San Francisco. It sounds very boring but I am intrigued with the ideas and originality of how human mind is supposed to work. Given a situation, how a person responds will depend on which emotion is taking control. In this negative world, it is easy to think that Joy is the main emotion as she is the representation of everything positive and happy. However, the movie introduces that there is no negative emotion per se. Anger is there to make sure that things are fair for Riley, Disgust is there to prevent Riley from being 'poisoned' physically and socially, and Fear is there to keep Riley safe by looking out for potential dangers. Sadness may come across as irritating as useless but near the end, it is revealed that Sadness' role is to alert people surrounding Riley when she is in need of help.

There are a lot of references of how human brain is supposed to work: core memories, train of thought, long-term memory, imaginary friend, dream, memory dump, etc. I am sure every can appreciate that there are some things that we always remember (i.e core memories), things that we have learnt-sometimes forgotten-but we can recall it when needed (i.e long term memories being sent by recall tube), or things that we have totally forgotten and we can never remember (i.e memory dump).

Inside Out also depicts the importance of having a balance of the supposed positive and negative emotions. Things start to get haywire for Riley when Joy tries to suppress Sadness from expressing herself and things get worse when Joy and Sadness are trapped outside the Headquarters where the emotions 'control' Riley and Riley is slowly losing her personalities.

At the end of the movie, it is possible for Riley to have a memory formed from more than 1 emotions and how the emotion controller in the headquarters get 'upgraded'. This is perfect because children tend to be more innocent: they laugh when they are happy, they scream when they are angry, they cry when they are sad, etc, but as they grow up, they develop more complex feelings or emotions. There is a reference to puberty as well which none of the 5 emotions knows about. Yeah, puberty is tough.

I have a mixed feeling about Inside Out. I would say the movie is only average but I honestly appreciate the idea of how human mind work. That is really awesome. There are funny scenes too although I find them more with the emotions in Riley's parents mind. Again it is a nice touch that although the 5 emotions in different brains are the same, they are not exactly the same. The emotions in Riley's parents mind seem to be more mature than Riley's and even how mother and father's emotions interact are also different which underlines the difference between male and female. Haha...

I am glad that the movie does not end up being preachy about how important to be positive etc. I do agree that Joy has the most 'difficult' job to keep someone positive and to keep the other emotions 'in check' as the rest tends to be impulsive. Don't call me crazy but ever since I watched this, I will think that I have 5 little things in my mind. When I feel a certain emotion, I will tell myself that I know currently this xxx is controlling my mind. If I don't want, I will tell myself for yyy to please take over the control.

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