Top positive review
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A beautifully animated mind-screw of a film
on March 1, 2015
I sure picked a doozy of a film for my second excursion into anime. PAPRIKA is an exhilarating, mind-bending look at dreams and the nature of reality that is also one of the weirdest, most visually inventive things I've ever seen. The basic premise for the film is that there is this recent invention, the DC-Mini, which is able to record dreams. However when three of them are stolen, and don't yet have programmed access controls, scientists who were working on the device and a cop have to recover them before the fabric of reality is broken and the dream world bleeds into the real world. Aside from the story, which is very confusing at times because of not knowing what takes place in the dream world and what doesn't, the aspect I most liked in this film was the visuals. It was animated using traditional cel animation (with some CG elements) and Satoshi Kon came up with some pretty awesome stuff to show us. The weirdest was probably a recurring procession with frogs playing instruments, giant dolls, and kitchen appliances. To say this film is confusing would actually be an understatement, although I did understand the setup and the general endgame. Another thing which might be nice to point out, and which I also noticed with AKIRA, is the cautious approach taken with science and technology. One theme common to both this and AKIRA is the danger when technology and science is in the wrong hands. Here, a device which can be used for psychotherapy is stolen, but because of the lack of proper access controls the person using it can enter the dreams of others and bring the dream world into reality. This seems to be a common theme in a lot of Japanese cinema, and it is explored here with enough visual creativity for a dozen films. Overall, despite the confusing nature of the story (which will probably benefit from multiple viewings) I thought this was an extremely original film that was beautifully animated and had a lot of artistry behind it. Highly recommended.