Stephanie was out of town this past weekend, so I went to see Paprika at the new Landmark Theater on Pico, the biggest, newest art house theater in LA.
It's pointless to explain the plot. It's a lot of stuff about reality and dreams intersecting. If the trailer looks cool to you, go for it. If you feel the need to know a story, this is not the movie for you.
Sometimes it's nice to see a movie at a theater alone, especially a movie you don't know much about or you'd have trouble bringing somebody to see. When you're alone, you can fully absorb the movie and let it fully absorb you. It's just you and the film, alone in the darkness. And afterwards you can just let it percolate, without the awkward silence where I always feel obligated to say something about how the movie was, when really I'm still processing it, replaying scene in my head and sorting out my thoughts.
Paprika was enjoyable. It's by Satoshi Kon, whose Perfect Blue and Tokyo Godfathers I liked a lot. The atmospherics are really effective, ranging from urban landscapes to sumptuous and disturbing dreamworlds. The movie excels at depicting dream logic as it really is, with locations that change without warning and characters that switch places or change form from one shot to another. All the toying with the dream world versus the real world is not quite as thought-provoking as I would have found it in high school or college, but it's still a great ride if you're willing to throw comprehension to the wind and embrace the dreamy illogic.
Like many anime features, it suffers from a bit of what-the-fuck overload near the end (though in a movie like this it at least fits), as well as some character twists that maybe could have been set up better. Does it all culminate in scenes of out-of-control Akira-style growths, giant-scale monsters and chaotic, near-apocalyptic destruction? Yeah, but it's still more consistently pleasurable and satisfying than many other anime features that share the same conventions.