Friday, December 24, 2010

Movie Review: Paprika

So Satoshi Kon's death was what finally motivated me to see his movies and the anime club, when presented with the choice of either Millienum Actress or Paprika, watched Paprika. A few people came in after the movie started and I think they were confused by the movie (well that's what y'all get for ALWAYS coming in late, do that many people have class until 6:45 and later on Tuesday nights or something?) but I found it fairly easy to understand and much more enjoyable than Inception.

 Summary: In the not too distant future, a little device called the DC Mini has been created and is in clinical trials for seeing how it can be used in dream therapy. Controversy surrounds even the existence of the device and when a copy of it gets stolen and used to hijack into other people's dreams that's when everything really goes crazy.

The Good: If Inception tried to base it's dream world in reality, in Paprika the dream world is exactly the kind of world you would expect to see in dreams. It's strange, not quite straightforward, switches viewpoints quite easily, and it is amazing because of it. If Inception tried to show the logic behind and in the dream world then Paprika brings to the front all the strange moments in there that make sense in a dream (or even a movie) but when you think about them later make you go "... wait what?" To me it both made complete sense and blew my mind, the kind of movie you walk out of and you could watch it again a year later, a week later, or even immediately and still feel satisfied with it.

The Bad: There was a strange bit of disconnect with the movie however. I remember that there was a central plot (figure out whose behind the theft) and we do get an answer and a motive for it in the course of the movie, but it felt a little unnecessary. I was having a good time just watching the story unfold that I thought the central plot felt almost like too much, and I never say that! There may have just been a little too much going on for me so I'm not sure if less threads would have made the story clearer or if I really did miss a few things the first time around.

The Art: The artwork was bright and vibrant, especially when the dream world starts spilling over into the real world, and adds to that other-worldly quality of the story. It's all pretty fluid looking and keep an eye on both the images and the subtitles for some foreshadowing. It's a movie that could've worked in live action as well but I think that having everything be animated (instead of awkward live action and CGI combining) makes the art more believable.

The Music: There is one little track from the movie that I remember was in the trailers years ago, a little bubbly theme that usually signals a switch between worlds, and I really want to see if I can get that track for my ipod. The music works beautifully, giving hints that a seemingly ordinary scene was actually much stranger than it seemed and other little clues.