Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Paprika (2006)


When 3 machines, which allow one access to the dreams of another, are stolen, Dr. Chiba Atsuko, head of their creation, and moonlighting dream therapist known as Paprika, must do anything to get them back. The fate of reality itself depends on it.

Writing a plot synopsis for Paprika is practically useless, I only did it out of habit and for consistency sake. What Paprika truly exists as is far more complex, visually inspiring, and damned confusing. Not a movie that can be comprehended, so much as absorbed, analyzed, and dissected. Sure, it has a central plot, but the movie's plot is a back burner to the encompassing visual messages.

Plays on dreams, the blending of reality and fantasy, and our deepest desires. To understand oneself is to concur the dream world, leading in control. As people's dreams blend together a parade of detracted individuals march. These scenes are shockingly impressive, adding a great deal of depth to how Kon and Tsutsui view the psyche of the modern world. Our characters' journeys of self discovery leads each down a different path. Some to rule the world, others to be destroyed by it.

I wish I could say more about the movie, but it's something you have to see to believe. My one real complaint with the movie is that it doesn't offer much reason to care for the main characters (at least not initially). Leading me to be rather bored as the building blocks for the visuals are being put into play.

Still, the sheer depth of creativity reaches beyond the minor flaws, and creates something in the realm of an animated masterpiece.

Despite its narrative flaws, Paprika is a movie that immerses you into its world, one like none other. A powerful testament to the creative offerings animation can present. Mature enough to handle the tougher issues, while steadfast enough not escape its interpretational stature. Paprika is as true an exercise in cinematic art as I've ever seen.

5 better thoughts:

Alex said...

Nice write-up. This one is definitely hard to describe! It's so gorgeous though, and I loved the exploration of dream iconography and interpretation.

Have you seen Paranoia Agent? It's pretty cool, and it has a more defined story (though Kon doesn't hold back on the weird factor).

Also, I highly recommend putting on the Susumu Hirasawa soundtracks to both Paprika and Paranoia Agent. I promise you will feel like you're in a video game, and it is awesome. I'll play them when I'm cleaning my room and the experience suddenly becomes much more adventurous.

Univarn said...

@Alex I'll watch Paranoia Agent at some point in the future, will need a mental break in between them though. Interpretational films aren't my bread and butter, especially not in bulk :). Thanks for the comment though, and I'll definitely check out the soundtracks.

The Film Connoisseur said...

I love movies that deal with dreams and dream logic, I had no idea Paprika was about that!

I like Japanese animated movies, but they have to be good. I dont like the poorly animated ones, but it looks like this one is a keeper.

Now I know what I will be watching this weekend, thanks for that review!

The Film Connoisseur said...

Have you seen Perfect Blue? Its one of the most interesting Japanese animated movies I have seen, kind of like reminded me of something Lynch would direct!

Univarn said...

@FilmConnoisseu No, I haven't. Judging from what you've said though, you may want to put all the work of Satoshi Kon on your viewing queue.

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