The film is set in the "near future," and the film's plot revolves around a psychotherapy treatment called dream therapy. Dream therapy uses a device called a "DC Mini," which allows the user to view other people's dreams. However, this technology has not been announced to the media. It turns out that three DC Mini prototypes have been stolen, and the protagonists of the story must find out where they went, as well as for clues to figure out what exactly is going on. As the film progresses, the narrative becomes more and more muddled between dreams and reality, to the point where the viewer is questioning whether what they are seeing on the screen is actually happening in the story, or is just someone's dream. However, this blurring of the lines really helps to tell the story that Satoshi Kon is wanting to convey in the film.
The DVD release of Paprika contains six special features. The first is the filmmakers' commentary. Next is a thirty minute documentary titled, "Tsutsui and Kon's Paprika." This documentary includes interviews with both Yasutaka Tsutsui and Satoshi Kon, and tells how the film was adapted from the novel. Next is a documentary titled, "A Conversation About the `Dream'." It runs for thirty minutes, and it features two of the voice actors, Yasutaka Tsutsui, and Satoshi Kon. They talk about the dream world in the film. Next is a fifteen minute documentary titled, "The Dream CG World"; this talks about the technological aspects of producing the film. The final documentary is titled, "The Art of Fantasy," and it runs for about twelve minutes. The final extra is previews for other titles released by Sony Pictures Classics.
Paprika is a very well-made film. Not only does it have a compelling story to tell, but the story is illustrated with some wonderful animation. However, since Paprika is an R-rated film, I can only recommend it to anime viewers who are seventeen years of age and older.
I first saw Paprika last summer when a good friend of mine strongly recommended the works of Satoshi Kon to me and after gazing at the anime titles he made, Paprika grabbed my eyes the quickest given its trippy imagery and description, so I bought it on Amazon and am extremely glad to have seen it because it's one of the most enriching and creative titles I've ever seen in the medium. STORY In the near future, a huge advance in psychotherapy … more
(4 1/2 *'s) `Paprika' totally changed the way I feel about anime'. My exposure to the comic book art form has so far been a cursory one. I was first introduced to anime' on the book shelves in public school libraries. I asked students to fill me in on the nature of a medium they almost singularly have made their own. I then saw portions of it from `Adult Swim' on the Cartoon Network and a short scene inserted in Tarrantino's `Kill Bill, Vol. 1'. My first full anime' feature came this year with `Hellboy' … more
A group of scientists invent a device that allows a therapist to enter into her patients' dreams. The only problem is, three of the devices have been stolen, and, worse, the safety controls are off -- which means that the perpetrator can enter into anyone's consciousness and alter their perceptions. Very soon it becomes difficult to discern where dreams end and reality begins. This blending of dream and reality is the basis for some of the richest works in the history of … more
Based on a novel by the noted Japanese science fiction writer Yasutaka Tsutui, the brilliant and unsettling featurePaprikacontinues director Satoshi Kon's exploration of the disturbingly permeable boundaries between dreams and reality. Techno-geek Kosaku Tokita invented the DC Mini to allow therapists to enter a patient's dreams and explore his unconscious, but an evil cabal uses the Mini to create a mass nightmare that causes multiple suicides. Psychotherapist Atsuko Chiba uses her alter-identity, "dream detective" Paprika, to intervene. Entering the nightmare, she witness a bizarre parade of appliances, toys, and kitsch objects: All of her intelligence and imagination are needed to escape this nightmare and its perpetrators. As he did inMillennium ActressandParanoia Agent, Kon effortlessly carries the audience between reality and fantasy, confirming his reputation as one of the most talented and interesting directors working in animation today. (Rated R: violence, violence against women, grotesque imagery, alcohol and tobacco use)--Charles Solomon