Film Friday: Paprika Review


Director: Satoshi Kon

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Tomatometer: 83%

MPAA Rating: R for violent and sexual images

Genre: Sci-fi and fantasy, horror


A machine allows therapists to enter patients’ dreams. When it’s stolen, all hell breaks loose, and only a woman therapist (nicknamed “Paprika”) seems able to stop it.


Paprika is a weird, colorful, zany ride. About half of the movie, you have to decide that you are just going to be ok with what is happening and just go with. Suspend your disbelief. Don’t try to figure out exactly HOW everything is happening. Because, believe me, it’s not a movie to figure out HOW it happens.

Remember how you felt watching Inception? You’ll feel even weirder watching Paprika.

So the main premise is that there’s this scientist who is developing this new area psychotherapy using people’s dreams. She goes in, helps them figure out what their dreams are saying, etc. Well, somebody dangerous and evil gets a hold of this technology, and starts planting dreams in their minds that cause them to do crazy stuff like jump out of windows. As the movie progresses, it becomes difficult to tell what is real, and what’s a dream.

A lot of Paprika is fun, crazy, WHAT IS HAPPENING kind of stuff. It doesn’t feel too menacing. It just kind of feels like you’re watching another bizarre, yet mildly charming anime with really great animation.

And then suddenly something even more bizarre and kind of horrific happens and you’re just sitting there thinking “wait…..what?”

So things are running along being semi-to-pretty weird, but you are still on board with what’s happening. Paprika is a pretty cool character, and its fun to watch her run around, helping people in their dreams. Sure there’s this weird parade dream that everyone’s having, but even that’s kind of fun zany rather than ‘wow this is bad news’ zany. And then suddenly, everything goes to hell. I’m not joking. All of the sudden, nothing is as it seems, dreams become reality, and who knows what the heck is happening. I’m still pretty confused.

Don’t believe me? Check this out:

Oh yeah. That happens.

All of that being said, Paprika is a very interesting movie with beautiful art. There’s one pretty disturbing scene, but it’s nothing too hideously terrible. I recommend it if you like Anime and you’re on board with colorful, zany storylines.

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