Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Inside Out (film)

Animated movies have a way of getting at the emotions housed inside certain stages of life. What happens when these emotions become characters in a movie? This idea of Pete Docter transmuted into the summer blockbuster of this year - Inside Out.

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Inside the brain of a 11 year old girl, named Riley, is a team of emotions - joy, sadness, fear, disgust and anger - working together to get her through daily life. The emotion Joy manages to control the headquarters, keeping track of the glowing orbs that represent Riley's memories. While other emotions want to take control of Riley's brain, Joy has to manage them too. After moving from Minnesota to San Francisco, an accident sends Joy and Sadness to a labyrinth of long term memory, and leaves Fear, Disgust and Anger to take control of Riley. She becomes emotionally wrecked as her parents do their best to help her adjust to the new surroundings. Meanwhile, venturing through the different realms of Riley's mind, Joy is determined to make it back to the headquarters along with Sadness, and return everything back to normal in the young adolescent consciousness of Riley.

This movie doesn't feel like it was haphazardly put together or drenched with unnecessary cultural references. Inside Out is truly genuine and crafted beautifully with lots of love and care. This is a very much imaginative film and the creative team and writers should be commended for their high effort. The idea of five emotions controlling an individual, the theme that every emotions are required for one's holistic growth, and the subtle message that sadness is as much important as joy, are few of the appreciable aspects of Inside Out.

As the objective of the story is narrative and it is classified as a kids' movie, Peter Docter and his team had a difficult task on how Inside Out would be presented. Neither too childish, nor too serious, Docter's screenplay has rendered a balanced treat that attracts both children and adult. Inside Out is also laden with tonnes of humorous jokes that would surely make both kids and adults laugh.

This movie also looks incredibly beautiful. Pixar Studios usually provide top notch CG and Inside Out is no exception. With vibrant colours and precise details, even subtle facial expressions are executed masterfully. The musical shortfilm of Disney-Pixar, titled Lava, is worth mentioning. Like the full animated film it is attached to, Lava is presented beautifully with pleasant tale of a lonely volcano looking for a volcanic partner. Pixar has not lost their touch in crafting these shorts.

Adults will be taken back to emotional struggles we had at that age and – let’s face it – sometimes still experience. Children will get the first film in a long time that treats their emotions as something complex and worth talking about. And it all happens in a colorful, energetic animation that may be Pixar’s funniest yet. Inside Out - right side in.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Nicholas Winton - the British Schindler

There is a saying that good people are hard to find. It is true. It is not because they are scarce, but because they don't boast about their goodness or seek attention. One such a beautiful yet humble person was Nicholas Winton. He was responsible for the rescue of 669 children during one of the darkest periods of history - the holocaust, and yet his story was never heard of until 1988.

Nicholas Winton, aged 29, was working as a stockbroker in London in 1938. Invited by a friend, Winton had foregone his ski vacation and visited Czechoslovakia after the ill fated Munich Agreement. After his visit, convinced about the impending war, He organized a Children Section of British Committee of Refugees from Czechoslovakia, without any prior approval. Through tireless efforts, he was able to transport 669 children in eight trains to London. Singlehandedly he managed to get sufficient fund as well as families willing to care for these refugee children. However, his rescue efforts came to an end once the war broke out in 1939.

He never shared about his wartime rescue efforts to anyone including his wife Grete, whom he married after the war. Half a century later, in 1988, Grete found a scrapbook in their attic, which had pictures and names of the Winton's children as well as a few letters from the parents of the children. Ever since his story got published in newspapers and aired in BBC's That's Life, he had been receiving thanking letters from the rescued. In fact, Winton had no idea that the audience of That's Life was full of the people he had saved and described it as one of the most emotional experiences of his life.

This great man passed away on 1st July, 2015. His story will live forever and keep inspiring people to do good even in the darkest of the time. His story will remind us that the world is full of good people.

“Nicholas Winton, we should learn from his motivation and from his courage and act, we must carry his spirit from generation to generation, then humanities future will be brighter.” - Dalai Lama