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 cinema -- that work not merely by mirroring our world but by distorting it into a world where we can be heroes, where the fear we feel in the night becomes a palpable presence, where ordinary people become alluring, fantastic, dangerous. Satoshi Kon is able to completely obliterate and play with these boundaries due to his remarkable eye for detail -- nothing is quite real but nothing is totally unreal and everything comes to life in this magical blend of film noir and fantasy. The characters are unique and interesting, far from stereotypical, and the basic device of the story allows the film to explore and contrast the inner with the outer life of each character in subtle ways.
I highly recommend this film for anyone who is a fan of the very best anime -- as in works by Hayao Miyazaki and the other artists at Studio Ghibli, or works like Akira or Ghost in the Shell, or other works by Satoshi Kon like Perfect Blue and Tokyo Godfathers -- but also for anyone who is open to having their eyes opened to new kinds of intelligent and creative and beautiful cinema that are very different than what you'd find in a local movieplex.
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
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 … 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
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