Friday, 9 February 2018

"Paprika" REVIEW

   With his latest film, in every sense of the word, made as Japanese animation – anime, called "Paprika", Satoshi Kon managed to impress viewers and experts with his talent as a narrator, with his bright visual style and ability to magnificently intertwine reality and illusions. "Paprika" is a psychedelic detective about entering dreams.
Figure 1. Dream World warps (2013)

   The script of "Paprika" is an adaptation of the science fiction novel of the same name by Yasutaki Tsutsui, the author of other quite famous works. Tsutsui’s novel is very action-packed, author showed well the psychological portraits of the characters, and his attention to the details is amazing.
   The main heroine, Atsuko Chiba, heads the research of the human psyche. She also has an alter-ego - a teenage girl Paprika, who sometimes has enter other people's dreams, not always legally, in order to secretly mentally heal important statesmen, secretly from the public. However, a catastrophe happens as the secret experimental device, DC-mini, disappears, which allows entering other people dreams without their consent. This incident is the beginning of a chain of strange events, in which almost everything and everyone around Chiba is involved.
   Considering the impressive volume of the novel and the number of plot lines in it, Satoshi Kon decided to recapture the atmosphere and spirit of the novel, not the volume. And although, inevitable changes and simplifications were introduced into this complex work, the structure of the anime turned out to be no less complicated, because of director’s talent, which enriched the universe of "Paprika" a lot. Martin Petto(2009) is correct when he states that "Kon's visual panache is a welcome replacement for Tsutsui's ponderous psychoanalysis. " He says that "In all respects the film is brighter, brasher, breezier[...]lunch. Everything in the book is slower, more clinical."
   If Tsutsui’s novel is a psychological thriller, then the anime version more resembles an endless surreal maze of unexpected visual images, symbols, moral dilemmas, various references, plot twists, films in the film, stories in the story and dreams in a dream. Roman J. Martel(2013) points out one of most popular scenes of "Paprika" : "The dream parade is one of those sequences that will probably stick in your mind whenever you think of the film, because it is so strange, colorful and unique that you can’t help but be impressed with it."
Figure 2. Parade (2010)

   Satoshi Kon is clearly interested in a part of human life, especially dreams, which, according to many experts, are the key to a better understanding of the problems and needs of man, as well as to treat most of the psychiatric problems. Caleb Crain(2011) wonders" Will people use the technology to reach a new understanding of themselves, extending the insights of psychoanalysis and philosophy? Such a development would require a great deal of attention to people as individuals. " However he claims, and one must fully agree,  that " It would probably be easier and more profitable to use the new technology for entertainment. "
   "Paprika" is very optimistic film, because of Paprika herself, who feels in dreams, like at home. She is a cheerful and playful girl who does not lose her self-control. It is very interesting to see that invisible connection between Paprika and Chiba . Subconsciously you can feel it, but verbally it is difficult to describe it.
Figure 3. Chiba and "her" Paprika (2013)

   Despite the beautiful visuals and quite interesting plot, you want to taste these Japanese spices only once. However, they will leave a good and hot aftertaste.

1. Martel, J. R. (2013) Paprika - 2006. At: (Accessed on 6 February 2018) 
3. Crain, C. (2011) An introduction to “Paprika”. At: (Accessed on 6 February 2018) 

1. Figure 1. Martel, J. R. (2013)[Film Still], accessed on 6 February 2018.
2. Figure 2. Lamar, C.(2010)[Film Still], accessed on 6 February 2018.
3. Figure 3. Martel, J. R.(2013)[Film Still], accessed on 6 February 2018.

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