Inside Out (2015) – Review + Lava

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Do you ever look at someone and wonder, ‘What is going on inside their head?’” Joy opened the movie.

After 2 years of hiatus, Pixar finally returns with a very ambitious 2-film rampage—Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur.

Approximately 2 months following the US release, Inside Out finally hits Indonesian theatre. Expectations are sky-high, considering positive reviews by critics and that 98% tomato score in Rotten Tomatoes.

Inside Out, hereafter, could top my sky-is-the-limit expectation with a clever drama and, most importantly, a personal emotion roller-coaster in Pixar’s inventive way.

The synopsis of Inside Out might be described as a coming-of-age drama, yet, it’s not that simple. It might resemble Toy Story 3 in some particular way; although this one is more personal as it unravels adolescent mind inside out.

The main issue is: moving from a nearly perfect Midwestern life is never an easy thing for Riley (Kaitlyn Dias). Missouri is everything for her—the weather, her childhood friend, her interest in hockey; meanwhile, San Francisco is certainly not a town for her.

Along with Riley are the voices inside her head—emotions who guide her: Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). They are manifested in avatars that resemble homunculus living in headquarter inside Riley’s mind.

In parallel with Riley’s condition, a turmoil storms headquarter, setting Joy and Sadness aside of control. With Riley’s state of being gets worsened, her state of mind gets worsened as well in the absence of Joy. The rest of emotions find it hard to handle Riley’s state of mind while Riley’s facing mental breakdown following a rough adaptation.

In the meantime, Joy must find a way back while she must cope up with Sadness—her exact opposite—to save the day.

Pete Docter (Up) crafted a very intriguing double-sided story from outside Riley’s mind and inside Riley’s mind in a subtle juxtaposition. Each side might affect another side in many ways resulting in astonishing storytelling—perhaps, Pixar’s most complicated.

However, Inside Out never complicates itself and convolutes its story with psychological gimmick or common wisdom. It makes real deal with simple things, like imaginary friend, Bing Bong (Richard Kind), commercial jingle, or imaginary boyfriend; turning them into hilarious anecdotes.

It never directly ‘teaches’ audiences with wisdom. Yet, wisdom is reflected through the narrative in a smooth rush. For instance, we all know that anger will only get you nowhere, right? That’s why, anytime ‘Anger’ takes the action, bad things happen. No need to put it in words or serious action sequence.

World-building is also an issue Inside Out excels; as it’s re-mapping human’s mind and transferring it into a world full of visual spectacles representing the work of mind. Personality is manifested into some islands; Subconscious mind has its own manifestation, as well as Dream Production and Abstract Mind.

For kids, Inside Out, perhaps, is seen as a visually-striking find-a-way-back adventure with cute characters. Yet, grown-ups might see it differently. Inside Out might be a rollercoaster of emotion with complex story-telling and, most importantly, complex cerebral universe. It might be a very personal tale—with been-there-done-that moment fresh projected inside our mind, or in an extreme way, it might be a tear-jerking movie.

In the end, Inside Out appears to be a beautiful, funny, and heartbreaking story at once; settling another score in Pixar’s wall of fame.

VERDICT: For kids, Inside Out might be a visually stunning find-a-way-out adventure. Yet, for grown-ups, Inside Out is a rollercoaster of emotion.

Bonus – Lava

Companion piece to Inside Out is a musical romance Lava. Set in amidst of ocean, a solitary volcano sings a song of hope to have someone to ‘lava’ (red-love). The tune was catchy and the lyrics was candid. Kids perhaps do not like it ’cause it narrates its story instead of giving action, but I personally think it’s pretty.

What else can a volcano do? Sing. I stand on ‘Lava‘ side.

Inside Out (2015)

Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Drama Written & Directed by: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen Screenplay by: Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, Pete Docter Voiced by: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias Running Time: 94 mins Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action

IMDb | Official Site

Setelah 2 tahun hiatus, Pixar kembali langsung dengan 2 film ambisius—Inside Out dan The Good Dinosaur.

Setelah mundur 2 bulan dari tanggal rilisnya di AS, film yang pertama—Inside Out akhirnya sampai Indonesia juga. Jelas ekspektasi saya sudah setinggi langit, ditambah lagi dengan berbagai pujian kritikus plus tomato score yang mencapai 98% di Rotten Tomatoes.

Hasilya memang tidak mengecewakan. Inside Out berhasil memenuhi ekspektasi dengan dramanya yang cerdas, personal, dan inventive. Namun, Inside Out bukanlah film Pixar yang biasa.

Sinopsis Inside Out mungkin bisa saja dipersingkat sbb: kisah coming-of-age a la Pixar. Tapi, tak sesederhana itu. Mungkin bukan saya saja yang merasa Inside Out ada kemiripan dengan Toy Story 3 dalam beberapa hal; yang membedakan adalah: Inside Out masuk lebih dalam ke pikiran tokohnya.

Konfliknya seperti ini: Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) tidak mudah menerima kepindahan keluarganya ke San Fransisco. Minnesota, tempat asalnya, sudah bagaikan segalanya baginya.

Namun Riley tidak sendirian. Ada para Emosi di dalam pikirannya: Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) dan Sadness (Phyllis Smith). Mereka digambarkan sebagai homenculus yang bermarkas di pikiran Riley.

Sementara kehidupan Riley sedang bermasalah, ada juga masalah di markas para Emosi yang menyebabkan Joy dan Sadness, sebagai 2 emosi utama (yang saling berlawanan) terpisah dari yang lainnya.

Saat keadaan di sekitar memburuk, keadaan mental Riley pun ikut memburuk. Tanpa Joy dan Sadness, Emosi minor lainnya kesulitan menghadapinya, begitu pula Riley.

Pada saat yang bersamaan, Joy harus menemukan jalan untuk kembali ke markas bersama Sadness untuk menyelamatkan Riley.

Sutradara Pete Docter (Monster, Inc., Up) meracik kisah dua sisi yang penuh intrik—di dalam pikiran Riley dan di luar pikiran Riley. Keduanya saling berkaitan erat dan saling mempengaruhi.

Namun, Inside Out tidak pernah merumitkan diri dengan gimmick psikologi maupun nilai moral. Film ini malah sering memanfaatkan hal sederhana menjadi anekdot yang segar, seperti teman bayangan, Bing Bong (R. Kind), atau jingle iklan TV, bahkan pacar khayalan.

Film ini tak pernah terang-terangan menyampaikan pesan moral atau sejenisnya. Pesan moral, kalaupun ada, lebih terefleksikan lewat narasinya yang halus. Contohnya, daripada terang-terangan berkata: marah-marah takkan menyelesaikan masalah, Inside Out malah membuatnya nyata dalam plot: setiap kali Anger membuat keputusan, hal itu selalu berbuah buruk. Cerdas, bukan?

World-building dalam Inside Out sama kerennya: memetakan pikiran manusia lalu menerjemahkannya dalam wujud visual yang indah dan inventive. Kepribadian digambarkan sebagai pulau-pulau; lalu ada juga Alam Bawah Sadar, Produksi Mimpi dan Pikiran Abstrak. Semuanya sangat diperhatikan detailnya.

Bagi anak-anak, Inside Out mungkin akan dilihat sebagai film petualang menemukan jalan pulang yang dipenuhi gambar ceria. Namun, bagi orang dewasa, Inside Out adalah rollercoaster emosi dengan penceritaan yang kompleks plus universe yang sama kompleksnya.

Inside Out bisa jadi kisah yang sangat personal ataupun tear-jerking kalau kamu tidak siap.

Kesimpulannya, Inside Out berhasil menjadi film yang indah, sedih, dan lucu sekaligus. Selain juga sukses menambah daftar panjang film hebat Pixar.

Bonus – Lava

Companion piece Inside Out adalah sebuah drama musikal Lava. Bersetting di tengah lautan, tokoh utama Lava adalah sebuah gunung berapi yang mendambakan pasangan. Narasinya dibawakan dalam lagu bernada catchy khas Hawaiii dengan liriknya yang candid. Mungkin sulit diikuti oleh anak kecil, tapi seriously, ini lagu #kodekeras untuk yang mengerti.

Mungkin tak banyak yang terjadi dalam Lava. Memangnya gunung berapi bisa apa? Menyanyi saja. Tapi, saya tetap di pihak Lava apapun yang terjadi.

This Inside Out review + Lava review is written and translated into Bahasa Indonesia by Paskalis Damar.

7 responses

  1. Inside Out is brilliant. Lovely review, buddy.

    I hated Lava. It made me somewhat uncomfortable.

    1. Thanks, buddy 🙂 I love the movie a lot.
      Well, many people disliked it but I just loved its simplicity.

  2. While Inside Out may not necessarily the most outright fun film Pixar has made, it is without a doubt the studio’s best.

    1. Maybe the best, but there are lots more from the studio, which might be on the same level.

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