Perhaps one of the greatest gifts bestowed on mankind was the art of expressing one's feelings. Innate feelings that are a response to the various stimuli of everyday life. The art of managing your emotions has become a necessity today for people who don’t shy away from labelling someone as ‘too sensitive’ for overtly expressing their emotions or as ‘impassive’ for their lack of it.
One of my favourite movies deals with the same. Inside Out, a 2015 movie directed by Pete Docter, deals with the subject of emotions and its various imbalances in the preadolescent and adolescent ages. Riley, the protagonist, is a young girl who comes face to face with rather unfavourable changes when her family relocates. Ice skating, pizza, school, friends and an adoring family are a few things that change. We are then taken inside Riley’s head where we are introduced to 5 unforgettable characters - Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger and Fear. Each character represents each of her emotions. The different parts of the brain that store and process information are shown as various Islands and her memories as pearls stacked in a cohesive manner. One of the most heart-warming characters was Bing-Bong, a cheerful elephant associated with Riley’s blissful childhood memories. Bing Bong’s burial under the heap of old discarded memories is a heart wrenching scene that symbolises her transition to adolescence and forgetting fragments from her childhood. The major conflict in the story represents the turbulent hormonal rage that intensifies or abates the emotions as puberty sets in.
No one teaches you the importance of embracing your emotions. Inside Out holds a special place in my heart as it touches upon this topic that often fades into the background. A better understanding of the operation of these emotions may help us in dealing with teenage mental health problems as well as problems that arise at a later stage in life. As convenient as it may seem to hold onto a particular emotion, we must learn to embrace and harness the expression of the same without fearing judgement.
Author: Janki Nair
Editor: Aryaa Shah