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5 reasons why Inside Out 2 is the highest grossing film of 2024

While watching Inside Out 2, I could see why it's the highest grossing film of 2024; it's exactly what the world needs to understand themselves better.

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Shachi Lavingia
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Inside Out 2

While watching Inside Out 2, I could see why it's the highest grossing film of 2024; it's exactly what the world needs to understand themselves better.

Understanding our emotions isn't exactly something we've grown up studying. And sadly, these kind of discussions don't even make it to dinner table conversations. Hence it's no wonder that we're surrounded by humans who are so out of touch with their own feelings that they don't quite know what to say when people around them express themselves or look like they're not having a great day. While some of us seek professional help and learn to tune in so we can understand ourselves better, it's still a difficult journey when seeking help itself is shamed. And here's where films like Inside Out 2 come to our aid!

A film that explains emotions beautifully like its prequel, Inside Out 2 introduces four new emotions that most believe don't or shouldn't exist - anxiety, embarassment, ennui and envy. Whether you're a rookie or someone used to tuning in, Inside Out 2 doesn't differentiate and explains it all with truckloads of compassion! It's surprising that a film like this has become the highest grossing film of the year so far, given how society approaches emotions aka pretends they don't exist. And barring a few things about the movie that didn't quite make sense to me, here's why I feel it's done so well at the box office worldwide!

Also Read: 10 movies to watch if you liked Inside Out 2

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It acknowledges the presence of anxiety, embarrassment, ennui and envy

How often have you heard someone, anyone say, "You're overreacting! It's not a big deal. Just stop worrying!" when you've acted on your anxious thoughts or shared them? Tell me you haven't been asked to "look at the brighter side" when you've expressed any emotion that isn't considered happy! Most people don't know how to react to something that they aren't allowing themselves to feel and by showing you Riley's journey, this film acknowledges that all kinds of emotions exist.

It puts anxiety on the map

While Instagram Reels has been shining light on how anxiety can show up for us, it certainly isn't the best medium to learn more about it, when social media also tends to make us so anxious sometimes. Especially in 2024, when mental health concerns like high-functioning anxiety and depression are so common among the youth, Inside Out 2 goes beyond introducing this emotion and shows you how it really works and the damage it can do if you don't learn to regulate it. 

It's your story and mine 

A coming-of-age story that talks about 13-year-old Riley going away to a weekend hockey camp and experiencing brand new emotions as a new teen, in reality, via Riley's story, Inside Out 2 talks about how emotions work for every single one of us. It breaks them down and explains how emotions show up and make their presence felt. And that's probably why it's uncomfortable and so hard to watch this movie without finding it a personal attack!

It teaches you how to regulate your emotions

When Riley has an an anxiety attack, joy approaches anxiety with compassion and asks her to stop. Anxiety simply pauses and says, "I was only trying to help" and that's as real as it gets. When anxiety takes a step back in the control centre, we're shown Riley's new sense of self that's being built with a little of every emotion. And the scene ends with this Riley grounding herself by repeating these thoughts. Via moments like these, Inside Out 2 helps you understand how one feels when they're anxious and what can truly happen when your anxiety controls you. Sometimes, our emotions are jumbled up and we're not sure how to feel. Like life, emotions too aren't always easy to decipher. It's only when we slow down and allow our emotions to be heard that they let go a little.

It explains it all in the simplest manner

This film explains the inner workings of our mind so effortlessly. Like our stream of consciousness, 'the deep dark secret', our need to push negative memories to the back of our mind or wanting to suppress every emotion that's difficult to process. Each of these are showcased very simply so that both, children and adults can make sense of them. Watching anxiety in the control centre, driving herself into a frenzy where she's unable to stop, that's exactly how an anxiety attack feels to someone who has experienced it. 

What I didn't expect to see is how simply this movie shows joy's journey. Throughout the film, joy, sadness, fear and anger are running helter skelter to find their way back to the command centre after anxiety has packaged them off to the back of Riley's mind. And joy is trying the hardest to figure it out, desperately trying to make everything okay by attempting to unplug Riley's anxiety-driven sense of self and replace it with the old, happy and positive one that says 'I'm a good person'. Because that's always been her job! It's only when she sees Riley trying to regulate herself that she realizes that all emotions need to be felt; they're all here to serve a purpose. We can't push them away, hoping they don't exist. With that, she takes a step back until Riley calls for her.

Being a 32 year old with high-functioning anxiety, Inside Out 2 felt like the universe has my back because emotions are finally simplified for those who don't understand. This is just what non-therapy going folks need to understand themselves and people around them better. 

If you haven't yet, watch Inside Out 2 in a theatre near you!

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