Paprika: Enlightening Film or Confused Mess?

June 1, 2007

I recently saw Paprika, an Anime film by Satoshi Kon which was realeased in 2006 but has only recently found its way onto the Big Screen over in the West. The story focuses around the stolen DC Mini. The DC Mini is a device that lets you see into other peoples dreams allowing an analysis of the subconcious. In the wrong hands it could be a very dangerous piece of equipment. When the DC Mini is stolen it is up to Dr Atsuko Chiba and her dream alterego Paprika to figure out what is going on and save the day. Its essentailly an exploration into the fantasy world vs the reality world.

Atsuko and Paprika are essentially two halves of the same person. As the real world and the dream world begin to collide they are able to exist together in the same reality. This mirrors that of characters we create online, Atsuko was able to create Paprika as a energetic, friendly, vivacious 18 year old who had sex appeal and confidence because perhaps that’s how she wanted to be. We create our online personas not always to reflect ourselves in reality but to reflect who we may want to be and are afraid to be. It is easier to exist within a “dream” reality then it is to exist in actual reality after all.

I thought this fim was interesting. It can be argued that the plot is difficult to follow as the two realitys collide but I think a film dealing with dream worlds and alternate realities is bound to be confusing you have to go in expecting to have to follow a plot that will jump around. If you do then you’re ok. I thought the characters were amazing. Paprika stayed strong and focused even when Atsuko was giving into living out her dreams rather than saving reality. You felt as if the DC Mini was a technology that could be realised in actual life and that this was all  happening now. The animation was also superb, first class. It made the story richer and was breath taking. One scene in particular when Paprika enters the dreamland of Kosaku Tokita and changes outfits as she falls from the sky gliding down on a cloud was amazing. The music compliments the story so well, futuristic, upbeat and floating it resembles the dream like world that is colliding with reality. I think this is such a greta example of how Anime pushes boundaries and explores new themes and stories that Western Animation never will. Anime is reaching out and showing Animation is a worthy source of filmmaking and should be taken more seriously. Animation can be used to make mature films and whats more you can do more with animation because there are no boundaries or things to hold you back. Essentially in animation you can achieve the unachievable wouldn’t you say?

I highly reccomend you watching this film. It is readily availiable on Torrent Sites (use Isohunt to hunt it down if need be) and is now showing in Cinemas across the USA and UK. Go watch it.


One comment

  1. Thanks for posting this! I wasn’t sure what it was about, so I wasn’t really interested… but now that I’ve got a rough idea, I’ve got my torrent up. I absolutely love Satoshi Kon, I’m excited!

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