Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Mystery, Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Psychological, Thriller, Dreams vs Reality
First Released: November 2006, 90-minute film.
Summary: The DC Mini is a revolutionary new technology that allows the user to enter another person’s dream and explore their unconscious thoughts. The abuse of the DC Mini allows the user to change the dreamer’s personality while they sleep, and under certain circumstances can cause the dreamer to go into a coma. The technology is on the verge of being released, but is stolen, sending the research facility and its researchers into chaos. Dr. Atsuko Chiba enters the dream world under her exotic alter-ego, code name “Paprika,” in an attempt to discover who is behind the plot to undermine the new invention. With the help of her fellow researchers and a detective that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, Dr. Chiba is in a race against time to discover the secrets of the dream world.
Paprika is a beautiful film that mixes a lot of elements in just the right way. The film is visually pleasing, meaning the animation is superb when mixed with the wide variety of characters and backgrounds, especially during some of the dream sequences. The dream sequences were well done, making it feel like you really were in a dream. It is difficult to explain, but when you watch the movie you will know what I am referring to.
The premise for the film is unique. While there are a few other movies in recent memory that focus on entering the dream world, Paprika places a fair amount of focus on the actual technology that makes it all possible. The focus on the technology mixed with the psychological aspect of the dream sequences made for an entertaining watch that left me interested from start to finish.
Paprika is co-written and directed by Satoshi Ken, the director of Tokyo Godfathers and Millennium Actress. There were a number of directors over the years that wanted to adapt the Manga to the big screen, but it was initially thought the story was unable to adapt to the screen due to the whimsical dream sequences. Yasutaka Tsutsui, the author of the Paprika manga, decided to allow Satoshi Ken to direct the Paprika film due to Ken being renowned for his uniquely original animation.
You might enjoy this if: You are ready for a world where reality mixes with the dream world, making it hard to know what is real and what is not.
You might not like it if: You want to sit back and watch a movie that requires little-to-no thinking.
Note to the Viewer: Pay attention from start to finish, otherwise Paprika will be difficult to follow.