Dissecting the world of tyrants and their neck-throttling grip on power is what you would expect from sitting down to watch an emotional film structured around memory and growing up, as recalled by Pixar.
Inside Out is a swift look on the dreams of politicians and the ruling elite. They who would be emperors, fuehrer, kings & queens.
Joy (Amy Poehler) is the dictatorial empire we all know about. The iron fist hammering down the base of our skull, drilling in their world view as the one and only, the one and forever. They cloud the judgement of others, taking ultimate control and making sure history is written by their hand, in their favour, and in their image. Another example lesson of how absolute power corrupts. When the powerful like Joy are controlling the board, they tint everything unto their agenda, rose coloured as they would see it. Reality be damned. A sweet execution.
It is over the course of the film that the rest of the cabinet are able to usurp that singular power, both wresting and teasing out control and sharing the wealth of the land. It is a level head that allows for all sides of the argument and a healthy one that continues to foster. Of course it is with much reluctance at first. Those who would start to ground us, as in the case of Sadness (Phyllis Smith), are seen as the enemy, foils in the war and critical bringers of destruction.
But they are not.
Sadness seeks to show us the other side of the distortion. Anger (Lewis Black) is the unresting unwashed, the growing concern of hoi polloi fed up with the status quo that they go to rather extreme lengths such as rioting to exercise their voice, the fallout of being under foot for so long. Disgust (Mindy Kaling) is the expression of apathy that consumes us, so cast aside for so long. And Fear (Bill Hader) is the remarking attitude of what kind of calamity will befall us should things no long continue as they always have, incumbency is inertia and that's how those in power stay in power.
The interplay between the five is funny and wrought with despair as these facets come to terms with finding a strength in their grip as they also loosen the regime of the despotic Joy.
Bing Bong (Richard Kind), the cotton-candied elephant of Riley's (Kaitlyn Dias) imagination, is so clearly a representation of Joy needing to be drunk with power in order to claw back into position. It's futile in the grand scheme of being a single-handed ruler, but still fuels the charge to return from the oust.
The joke on mixing opinions with facts is on point and speaks to the ever growing concern of those standing behind science and data. Where mouthpieces with flash and celebrity are spouting all kinds of anecdotes and gut-feelings as truth. The guts are wrong, but the ears they land on will know no better, the swill of it all void of accuracy and objectivity. Never more in concert with climate change, vaccinations and racial tensions ever present in the world.
With Inside Out we're sitting there entertained by one sharp political satire.
The preceding Lava short film about volcano love, that one sets the mood quiet well in a "let's all bundle in a corner and cry ourselves to sleep" emotional mindset.
Reviewed on Sunday, 12 July 2015