Dan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Before trying to dissect what anything in this brilliant movie means, let's talk about the execution alone. This is a gorgeously animated film, very well-directed, and the score is perfect. If you just want to be captivated by beautiful animation and soaring music, watch this movie now. It rivals the work in "Akira" and is much sunnier.
Now what is "Paprika" about? To me, it's about repression, it's about losing control, it's about the lines that separate fantasy from reality. It's a sci-fi action story with giant monsters, but it's also a quiet love story and not between the characters you expect. "Paprika" is about who we all are on the inside. Do we conquer in our dreams? Do we dream of being someone else? Are we just enjoying the ride?
This is the kind of movie you want to watch again immediately after it finishes, not just so you can unpack the labrynthian plot, but so you can focus on the message underneath the parade of kitchen appliances and frogs playing the drums. Not everyone is into the confusing movie that dances around BIG IDEAS. Some find them too pretentious or question whether the creators even had a message at all. Fuck that, I abide by death of the author. Whatever the intent was, "Paprika" is wonderful to see and to hear and left me feeling inspired and introspective. If that sounds interesting to you too, check it out.