Paprika (2006)

What’s the best way a filmmaker can visualize dreams on the big screen? Of course there are the nightmare scenes where the person suddenly wakes up, sweating, but how do you show that very surrealistic feeling you have when you dream? With Inception Christopher Nolan showed his vision about dreams. The movie had some great effects (like the city folding up and all the action in the hotel), but despite these effects and the nice sets the dreams themselves were not that strange, sometimes almost normal. This is not the case with Paprika and it shows how fantastic and scary dreams can be and it does so (at least I think so) better than Inception.

The story does have some similarities with Inception, but the story itself is quite different. A big company has developed a machine which a person can wear on his head, after which other people can enter the dreams of that person. The prototype is being tested on several people to help them with psychological problems. One of the researches appears in the dreams as the girl Papirka and one of her patients is a police officer.

When the machine disappears and several test subjects start to act very strangely while they are not wearing it, because they can’t distinguish reality from dreams anymore (which we also see in Inception) it suddenly becomes very important to track the machine down. As a viewer you are treated to wild ride through dreams and reality.

The animation of this movie is stunning. There are scenes with so much detail that it is hard to imagine how much time it must have taken to animate it all. The animation itself is already enough reason to watch this movie, but the story is just as good as the animation.

The movie has been directed by Satoshi Kon, who also was responsible for Tokyo Godfathers (which I gave a 9). If you like anime/science fiction/surrealistic movies (select the one(s) that apply to you), then I highly recommend getting you hands on this DVD and enter wonderful, beautiful and strange dream worlds. The movie has really impressed me and I hope it does the same to you.

Score: 10

Interested in other movies which I’ve awarded a 10?
A complete list can be found here.

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