Inside Out online movie review - Enjoyable but overrated
In my opinion, this movie is just a tad overrated. Here we'll start with what I deem the most important aspect to every movie's entertainment: characters.
That's right, if I don't care about one or more of the movie's characters, it's hard for me to get into it. Now, I wouldn't say that Inside Out's characters were bad per se, however I would say they were pretty one-dimensional, particularly the 5 emotions. But how could they not be to some extent though? After all, they're all basically single emotions personalized into physical beings, rather than a whole human character. Therefore, I'll first state that I have no problems with how the scriptwriters have handled them, considering that there aren't really any other options in regards to how they could've written them. But that in itself is a problem I have with the entire concept of the movie. Now, as a whole, the concept is a very clever and innovative one; it explains how our minds work through creative metaphors and analogies that are easy for the audience to grasp. But for this concept to work, the characters of the personified emotions would have to only be limited to the traits of the emotion they are meant to represent respectively, otherwise they would miss the point of their respective character altogether. Thus, they'd have no choice but to be confined in stereotypical boxes, with not much space for their personalities to be expanded upon, thus they become predictable and repetitive after a while. This wouldn't be much of a problem for people who pay more attention to the general concept and storyline, as the character's interactions would be enough to keep them entertained during the filler parts, but as I said, I really want to focus on the characters when watching a movie, and relying on interactions(no matter how meaningful or entertaining) solely just isn't enough for me. So I guess this concept just isn't for me, though I do think of it as clever and charming.
Now on to the main human character, Riley. I'll start by saying that I really like how they distanced her from stereotypes as much as possible. She has both a girly and a boyish side to her, for example. And there's also a bunch of random traits and preferences thrown into her character, like hating broccoli, goofball etc. To be honest, I liked this, as I do think that our personalities are comprised of many different traits and preferences which all stems from our reaction to past experiences. Some of these traits make us seem like a walking stereotype, while others make us seem like a walking contradiction. However, the problem I have with her character is exactly the opposite of the problem I had with the emotions'. When the emotions interacted together, you could see that they were all bursting with their own personalities which made them very distinguishable from each other. They were like a rainbow when joined together, however each one of them only represented their own respective color, and if you examined them on their own, they turn into a one-dimensional stereotype, like when you take one color out of the rainbow and focus on it, it will seem bland and flat to your eyes. But put them together, and you get a very colorful image. As for Riley, it's like taking a bunch of different colors and mixing them together, only to get a murky saturation. Sure she has a bunch of traits mixed into her character, but none of them are developed enough, and so they remain just general traits that just sort of mix together to make up a bland, uninteresting character that I feel indifferent about.
Another(albeit minor) complaint I have is that the film seems to drag on half-way through, specifically when Joy and Sadness are trying to navigate their way back to headquarters. The whole journey just seemed to drag when I was watching the film, and my interest waned. That's not to say that there are no entertaining moments throughout the film, however, as there are certainly moments of charm and humor shared between the characters. Not to mention the little moment shared between Sadness and Bing Bong (definitely one of my favorite moments in the film, as it was inspiring, moving and powerful all at the same time, and it was an important scene of foreshadowing towards the end) and of course, when Joy and Bing Bong were trapped in the memory dump (though I wasn't quite as moved at the scene as most people were, because I found it predictable and wasn't too attached to Bing Bong's character in the first place). However, aside from those two important parts, the rest of the journey seemed mundane, and while there were the aforementioned charming moments littered here and there across it, they felt too short and fleeting to enliven the entire journey for me, so the sense of boredom still lingered throughout the course of the movie.
So, those are my main issues with the film. Like most people here, I felt that the end scene was truly amazing, as it captured the feelings of longing and reminiscence perfectly, allowing for an empathetic bond to form between the audience and main character. It has moved me in more ways than one, it has deeply inspired me with it's message of emotional intelligence, and that is no easy feat. Yet, the movie manages to do just that with one scene alone; it was that powerful. Overall, I would say that the movie is successful in presenting the difference between the feeling of suppressing an emotion and the feeling of actually feeling that emotion. For that, I would say I liked it overall. But the issues I had with it (particularly in regards to the character department) definitely dampened my experience of viewing it. Thus, I'd say that I probably don't favor it quite as much as most people on here do.