Emotional, joyful ride : The Tribune India

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Emotional, joyful ride

(3.5/5)
Emotional, joyful ride

Innovative storytelling makes this film a must-watch.



Film: Inside Out 2

Director: Kelsey Mann

Cast: Amy Poehler, Maya Hawke, Kensington Tallman, Liza Lapira, Tony Hale, Lewis Black, Phyllis Smith, Ayo Edebiri

Johnson Thomas

This sequel to the acclaimed Pixar film delves deeper into the emotional roller coaster called adolescence. The narrative follows Riley Andersen (Kensington Tallman) as she transitions from middle school to high school, encountering the turbulence of puberty and new social challenges. She and her friends are invited to join a summer hockey trial by the local coach. Riley also has to adjust to the fact that her friends will be joining another school. So, there are a lot of emotions plaguing her young mind at the onset of the challenging phase of puberty.

In an imaginative and colour-coded parallel universe, we are also exposed to the inner workings of her troubled, emotive, adolescent mind. New emotions like Anxiety, Envy, Ennui and Embarrassment seem to have taken control from older emotions like Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust.

How Riley navigates through this turbulence, depicted in the form of Joy and her team regaining control of her mind, is what this film is all about.

The expressive narrative shows us how Anxiety begins to dominate, banishing all older emotions from the headquarters and into the vault where recessed memories are kept. Riley subsequently begins to lose confidence and there is a visible strain in her friendships while she attempts to fit in with her new high school peers. Eventually, we see how Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust go on a mission to help Riley retain her sense of self.

The visual architecture makes it all very easy to understand. Through this entire journey of growth, Riley and the audience get to understand that every emotion, including the new ones, plays a crucial role in shaping identities. The film makes a strong pitch for embracing all emotions in order to truly understand oneself.

This sequel may not feel as sublime and complex as the first because it doesn’t feel very different. But the beautiful execution and maturity of its depiction make it just as interesting and enchanting. Even though Nostalgia makes a guest appearance, the film still manages to take the viewer on a nostalgia trip back into the growing-up years and the anxieties thereof. It reminds us that problems, fear, worries and anxieties are all transitory. They may be inevitable, but everything will pass.

This sequel manages to recapture the magic of the first film even though it doesn’t surpass it. The voice-actors provide depth and authenticity to the characters. The writing is lucid, the animation is bright, colourful and strong in visual appeal.

The narrative flows smoothly and keeps you engaged throughout. This sequel may be targeted at the preteens and teens, but there’s plenty to enjoy for adults too. The depth of emotional recall, the innovation in storytelling, and the compelling experience that it serves up, makes this Pixar production a must-watch.