Justin Peterson’s review published on Letterboxd:
Time to spice up your dreams with the mind-bending world of Paprika!
"Don't you think dreams and the internet are similar? They're both areas where the repressed conscious mind vents."
There is a fine line between a movie being a total mess, or being a brilliant fever dream. Sometime during the second half of Paprika I held my hands up, and admitted that I had no idea what was going on as the line between dreams and reality in the story completely blurred. But the more I think about all the incredible moments of surrealism, and how much I respect Director Satoshi Kon's work ... have me leaning toward thinking of this as the ultimate movie dream experience.
I loved the themes Paprika presents with dreams and movies being the perfect place for people to break out of their shells, and imagine the version of themselves they have always wanted to be. I knew going in that 'Inception' was likely inspired by this story, but other than the different dream levels in the opening and a few similar shots, the movies were not as similar as what I was expecting.
There is some interesting symbolism used throughout like images of butterflies, and the idea of your attacking subconscious taking the form of people that look just like you running at you. Some of the dream elements are just bonkers like the crazy ongoing parade, people Sieg Heiling, Paprika turning into Pinocchio and Tinkerbell, and some neat meta-movie moments. Plus there are a handful of aspects that just don't come together like who the bad guy ends up being and his motivation, the deal with the cop trying to find a murderer, and the obese guy's creepy looking former friend who keeps appearing in the dreams.
I was captivated by how vibrant and colorful the animation was. Paprika is also packed with many of the typical things you see in anime like the look of the cop, Paprika being fondled, and characters getting all sweaty. It is unfortunate this was Satoshi Kon's final film, and I can't wait to check out the rest of his extraordinary work.
"It seems you have quite a fondness for movies ... I don't really like movies all THAT much." ..... ya right 🤣
Thanks for reading and listening.
Happy movie watching ... Cheers!