Paprika takes place in the near future where a device called a DC allows people to enter other people's dreams. And yes, I know this sounds similar to Inception but Paprika actually came out four years prior to Inception. The device is used as a type of psychotherapy treatment, with one researcher, named Dr Atsuko Chiba, assuming a persona in the dream world with a completely different personality named Paprika, which she uses to treat people. However, a prototype portable version of the device, called the DC Mini, is stolen and is missing a safeguard which basically prevents people's minds from being hacked. Soon, people start going insane as a dream from a schizophrenic patient invades their minds, and people's perception of reality begins to unravel.
As I mentioned, one of the main appeals of Paprika is the trippy animation. It honestly looks like it was made while on drugs. The dream from the schizophrenic patient I mentioned? Here's what It looks like:
Most of this has to do with the film being about the nature of dreams. In the dream world the laws of physics are constantly broken and the setting of the dream world shifts nearly every minute. As the film goes on, the viewer can no longer tell what is reality and what is the dreamworld anymore.
The director of this film, Satoshi Kon, was an absolute genius, who had frequently been compared to Hayao Miyazaki and had won numerous awards. I would highly recommend anything by him, especially one film, Millennium Actress, which I may blog about at a later date. What's tragic is that he died of pancreatic cancer last May at the age of 46, thereby depriving the world of one of the most talented directors to ever live.
All in all, if you're looking for something trippy to watch, I would definitely recommend Paprika. And while the nature of dreams is the main theme of the film, don't expect it to be like Inception.