(fig1 - movie poster)
“Paprika” is an anime directed by Satoshi Kon in 2006. The film is definitely visually spectacular and wonderfully weird, mixing the world of dreams and reality in one, creating a truly fascinating experience. In his movie review Alex Naylor states that: “Kon always underpins his hallucinatory worlds with fiercely intellectual, provocative points.” (Naylor, 2008) Possibly the movie’s greatest point is exploring the world of lucid dreaming and reality and making the audience aware of such ideas that are still very underexplored in the West. Personally I can’t think of a better medium to recreate such ideas. The animation is often times merging environments with characters and really pushing the boundaries and limits. Perhaps this constant flow is what could be perceived as slightly confusing at first glance.
Another good point raised by “Paprika” is if there should be a moral limitation in pushing science in new directions. The main device that the plot revolves around is the DC Mini which records the dreams of the wearer, but it turns out it can do much more than that. By entering the subconscious it can merge dreams and physical reality into a dangerous mix that could potentially make you leap off a building. At the end of the anime we reach a point of collision where the two realities finally combine in a crazy parade full of household appliances that march toward an uncertain goal, sucking every passer-by in it. Dargis Manohla talks about that: “this superabundance works to one of the film’s themes, namely that our fantasies, including those opened up by the Internet, are pulling us away from the material world and, perhaps, more dangerously from one another.” (DARGIS, 2007)
Technically the film will leave anyone impressed and the decision to use both hand drawn animation and CG really works with the main idea. At one point you realise that the combination of two is part of the film’s message. The machine/computers slowly taking over our lives to a point where we will all be marching off a cliff engulfed by our inner fantasies.
Overall “Paprika” is beautifully made and inspiring. Even though I don’t enjoy anime (at all) the message on this one was strong enough to surpass the style it was drawn in instead of the normal other way around. (5 stars!)
Fig. 1 – movie poster - Ecx.images-amazon.com, (2016). [online] Available at: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51K-UVQgMML.jpg [Accessed 21 Jan. 2016].
DARGIS, M. (2007). Paprika - Movies - Review. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/25/movies/25papr.html?_r=0 [Accessed 21 Jan. 2016].
Naylor, A. (2008). Paprika: the stuff of dreams for filmgoers. [online] the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2008/jun/17/paprikathestuffofdreamsfo [Accessed 21 Jan. 2016].