Paprika- a brief review

July 8, 2007

I’m fortunate in living less than a mile from a small theater that continuously brings in independent and foreign films.

Tonight I took advantage of this this conveniently local theater once again, and saw Paprika. This is animated film from Japan that was released in 2006, and was recently released for the first time to US theaters, beyond showing at film festivals. To date is has not been widely released and it is unlikely that it will shown outside of larger metropolitan centers.

I very much enjoyed the film. It is not a movie to sit down to when tired or after a few drinks. It keeps you on your mental toes, and between keeping up with the subtitles and following the story, there is little opportunity to slack off while viewing this film.

The basic premise (without spoilers) is that a new experimental device has been stolen which allows someone to enter into the dreams of others. Unfortunately, the dreams begin seeping into everyones reality, and are collectively becoming destructive, both mentally and physically. The characters spend much time slipping between dreams and reality, often being uncertain if they are in the dreaming or waking world. For this reason alone, the audience is required to perform mental cartwheels and back flips to keep pace with the story line. It is however will worth the effort and is in no fashion a criticism. I generally approve of movies that keep me mentally engaged, and this movie certainly cashes in on that score. It is also visually stunning and magnificent when it comes to the quality of animation.

If you’ve enjoyed other anime features, this movie may appeal to you. Further information can be found at main website

This movie is rated R, and for good reason. There is nudity, and limited violence, but more importantly there are some graphically disturbing elements which I would not consider appropriate for children. On a side note, I was very pleased that there were not young children, or even unaccompanied teens during the showing, despite it being shown early on a Saturday night.


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