During a time when I sometimes feel a little oversaturated by movies, to the point where many leave little impact on me, sometimes to the point where I actually do question whether or not I even still like movies, Inside Out came around just in time to answer that question for me in the biggest way possible with a resounding yes! This is a movie so touching and so beautiful, it acted as a reminder to me as to why I truly do love movies so much.
I knew that this one was gonna be good just by the trailers, which already had me starting to tear up a bit with such a rush of emotion on their own. So I knew that Pixar was onto something monumental with their latest outing, but even then, this movie absolutely floored me beyond my every expectation. Pixar isn't just back, Inside Out is the best movie that the studio has ever produced, by a large, incomparable margin.
If ever there was a movie where it was appropriate to have such a strong emotional pull to it, this is it. And while many movies may have a scene or two where they build up to an emotional payoff of some sort, this is the kind of movie that'll leave you choked up throughout its entire runtime. Needless to say, there wasn't a dry eye in my theater, and where many movies have brought me to the verge of tears, Inside Out was the first in my entire life to make me actually shed any in a movie theater.
Like 500 Days of Summer, there's just such a crushing, gut-wrenching sincerity to it all that'll keep you in that state from start to finish. For instance, as the story plays out, there are scenes in which our subject character Riley's "personality islands" begin to crumble away in a similar fashion to another cerebral movie, Inception. However, unlike in that movie, whenever it happens here there's just so much weight behind it all that leaves your heart crumbling right along with it each and every single time.
But even when nothing particularly heartbreaking is happening on the screen, just the sheer fact that you're actually witnessing this movie, that it actually exists, and that it's tackling such complex issues in such a seamless fashion, it just left me brimming with pure emotion throughout.
In terms of its writing, I'm not even exaggerating that this screenplay may be one of, if not the, smartest, most brilliant scripts that has ever seen the light of day. Like, I seriously didn't even know that it was possible to capture this level of brilliance on film. The movie is just so clever in its stunning execution, with a seemingly endless amount of creativity behind it. The way it breaks down how our brain actually works in all of its many intricate ways is just fascinating, and the sheer level of detail that this movie delves into is frankly astounding. They seriously thought of absolutely everything going into this movie.
And I'm not even joking when I say that I can see this movie eventually becoming required viewing for anyone wanting to go into any sort of psychology field, not to mention being a movie that many a counselor or therapist will likely be recommending their patients. There's just so much that can be learned regarding how our emotions actually function, and why we may be feeling certain ways.
And especially people who don't actually understand how depression works, they can learn a plethora from this movie. It always bothers me to see people telling those who deal with depression to just "try and be happy and get over it", or something along those lines. But this movie actually shows how someone dealing with depression literally can't just force themselves to be happy. How, due to chemical imbalances beyond their control, they very literally lack the ability to feel such emotions. And this movie brings that to the forefront with Joy and Sadness' journey, and I can only hope that people watch this movie and take Riley's emotional state and the actions happening outside of her control within her head very literally.
But even going beyond many people's inability to distinguish the differences between sadness and actual depression (ie, the two are not one in the same), this movie goes a step further and even brings to light just the sheer importance that sadness plays within our life, and how trying to bottle it up and suppress it can lead to a world of inner turmoil. In fact, every time I've seen this movie, it's been a different scene that brought on the most powerful emotions from me (scenes that are so powerful that merely just thinking about them as I write this starts to make me well up just a bit), but the one thing each of those moments have in common is just how huge a role sadness plays in growing as a person, which is a lesson that you almost never see in any movies, let alone a kid-friendly family film like this.
Speaking of which, as if it isn't apparent by now, Inside Out, though certainly kid-friendly, really isn't a movie necessarily made for children. It's a movie that adults will definitely be able to get more out of (as made apparent by how each successive viewing of mine saw more and more adults and fewer and fewer children in attendance), as it tackles scenarios far more relatable to them. Though that's not to say that the movie isn't a whole lot of fun on top of all the heavy subject matters it deals with. In fact, I'd go on to say that, on top of being Pixar's best and smartest film, it may well also be their funniest film to date at that. As I mentioned, there's just so much cleverness at play with the way the mind works, and it's all brought to life so well by the spot-on voice casting all around.
I've been meaning to get to this review for a while, as I truly adored this movie, having seen it three times already within the first week, and getting so much more out of the experience each time (this is seriously the kind of movie where you'll see it, then drag your friends out to see it just so they can experience this for themselves as well). And there's so much more to this movie that I haven't even touched on, such as it's gorgeous visuals and stellar music. Just all around, Inside Out is such a beautiful movie, in every sense of the word, and the fact that this movie even exists is an absolute miracle. All of the feels, all of 'em!