okcordero’s review published on Letterboxd:
Scavenger Hunt 18
Film #15/Task #2: "An anime not directed by Hayao Miyazaki"
5 minutes after watching this, I'm still saying, "uh...what???" out loud to myself. But I guess that's the response that Satoshi Kon wanted, so I'm okay with it. What impressed me most about Paprika was the animation, which was so well done, so imaginative, and so delightful to look at. But also, I can't think of another film that uses the medium of animation to its full advantage like this. Whereas Inception establishes its own rules and follows them, Paprika throws all that and the laws of physics out the window in favor of its own surreal sense of logic, like a Little Nemo for adults. It leads to some incredibly imaginative sequences and chase scenes that are fun to watch even if they don't make sense.
My only complaint is that the actual story of the film - the stolen technology, the detective's backstory, the chairman, etc. - isn't all that interesting. It's a basic scifi premise that's wrapped up in all these greater abstract concepts and ideas and cool characters like Paprika that I'd rather learn more about. But either way, it's amazing that such a simple, ingenious premise can inspire such an imaginative, beautifully animated film, one that asks more questions than it answers and leaves you wanting more.
Maybe I'll think about it before I go to sleep!