Paprika – A thoughtful afterword

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Paprika is the type of movie most people would watch and go, “…huh?” It seems like a messy and convoluted movie at first glance, with bright colors and scenes that make less and less sense as the story trudges forward. But if one dares to peer into the eye of the storm, what they would find is ultimately – a layered but masterfully crafted story.When I watched Paprika two years ago, I didn’t find anything intriguing about it. It might be a little to cliché to say that I was too young to understand, but it’s the truth. Most of the movie’s plot twists and themes went completely over my head. But unsurprisingly, it didn’t make much of an impact on me.

Fast forward to 2016, I decided to give Paprika another shot. I was not disappointed.

It’s a hard movie to understand and like. The movie is edited in a way that embodies the phrase ‘Show, don’t tell,’ and doesn’t dole out information freely. When it happens, it is done purposely, even the characters on screen aren’t fully aware of what is happening at any given time. I marvel at how well done this aspect of the movie is. To have the viewer and the characters on equal ground, never giving one party more information than the other. It creates a fog of mystery that doesn’t clear up until you reach the end credits.

Paprika is also a difficult to review because the more I think about it, the more praises I have for the director, Satoshi Kon, for his ability to craft such a masterpiece. A summary of the story wouldn’t capture what makes the movie unique. A review even more so. The only advice I can give to anyone who hasn’t watched it, is to ask them to do so. Letting them form their own opinion would be the best option. Also, watching the movie more than once would be a good idea. If you didn’t understand it, simply put it aside and tackle it later.

This is more of a thoughtful afterword if anything. I think it’s something out of my depth to review simply because there are too many layers and different interpretations to be had. Giving the reader just one angle of the story, one perspective, would not do Paprika justice.

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