Paprika (1991)

The film is a beautiful restoration work from the original film's color pallet, sound and lavish story telling by Tito Brass. The movie focuses on Mimma a non-educated young lady, who is tricked into working in a brothel for fifteen days by her strapped-for-cash boyfriend. The house madam give her a makeover at which point she becomes "Paprika". Being young and naive she falls in love with her first client, a sailor by the name of Franco. Her life progress along with the film and she becomes well versed in her “art”. She realizes she comes to enjoy her new life and leaves her old boyfriend and small town living behind, which leads to her go on a tour of the top brothels in Italy becoming synonymous in several, though she never forgets Franco and still longs for him to somehow return to her. When the law closes down the bordellos, Paprika manages to escape and marry a rich old man of course this leads to tension with his greedy relatives, Paprika ends up inheriting a fortune when the man passes but allows her to have a happy ending with Franco.

Paprika arrives on Blu-ray in a very nice AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed at 1.66.1 widescreen and looking vastly improved over the previous DVD release from Arrow in the UK (it never had a domestic release on next gen including dvd until now). The clean-up of the film is considerably better in the close ups and in the medium and long distance shots and flesh tones look much more natural and lifelike than ever before, but it does have to be noted that much of this film was shot very soft – temper your expectations accordingly. Texture is more readily apparent in the clothing and in the sets used throughout the film while color reproduction is more natural and well defined than it ever was on DVD. There's the expected amount of fine grain as you'd hope there would be, but very little in the way of actual print damage, dirt or debris to note.

The Italian language Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track is clean and clear. English subtitles for the hearing impaired are included as well. There’s little to complain about here as for the most part everything sounds quite good. A bit more channel separation in a few scenes might have opened things up a little more but as it stands this stereo track is a pretty active one and the score in particular sounds quite nice.

Cult Epics have supplied, as the primary extra on this release, a new featurette called "Welcome To The Whorehouse". This is basically a nineteen minute long interview with Brass himself who, with his trademark cigar permanently glued to his mouth, talking about the different actresses he worked with, the story, and more. It’s an interesting piece and a nice addition to the disc.

reviewed by Shawn

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