I have no recollection of how Paprika ended up in my queue. Maybe someone else recommended it to me, maybe it popped up on a Netflix related list. Regardless, going into the movie I really had no idea what exactly to expect. I knew from the sleeve that it was an anime, and that's about it.
Paprika is a story about dream therapy. Not any sort of traditional dream therapy, but rather an invention that allows a therapist to enter your dreams and help you work through reoccurring dreams and nightmares. Unfortunately the device falls into the wrong hands, and a sort of dream terrorist emerges. Victims of his nightmares go insane and start throwing themselves out of windows and such. It starts strong, but the plot gets fuzzy real quick. There's some detective work going on to track down the culprit, but it's not told particularly well and I quickly became lost. I mean, I got the gist of it, but it wasn't exactly crisp.
Thankfully the visuals are amazing. The dreams are appropriately vibrant and surreal. The parade of insanity is creepy, but I especially liked the first patient's reoccurring dream sequence with everything from film noir to a circus to shrinking hallways. The waking scenes also are really well done, with a realistic style that sharply contrasts the insanity going on in people's heads.
But overall I was left disappointed. It was definitely pretty, but I felt like the premise was squandered. Basically the plot was two stars, and the visuals were four. So it really would depend on your mood how much you'd enjoy it. When I sat down to watch it I guess I was in the mood for plot, because in the end the movie didn't quite do it for me.