Paprika by Tinto Brass
Inside look at Paprika by Tinto Brass
A coming of age film about a young naïve girl, Mimma (Deborah Caprioglio), who is desperate to please her boyfriend, Nino (Luigi Laezza). In order to raise the capital for his business, she is tricked into working as a prostitute for some two weeks but soon discovers a whole new world in the bordellos of Italy.
Given the name Paprika by the brothel owner, Madame Collette (Martine Brochard), she begins her new job only to fall in love with her first client, Franco (Stèphane Bonnet). She discovers that her boyfriend has betrayed her and decides to continue with her new found career. After gaining repute in the sex industry, Paprika ends up marrying a rich aristocrat only to be widowed shortly after. She becomes a wealthy woman almost overnight and decides to return to the brothel to meet her friends and rekindle her relationship with the true love of her life.
Paprika received rave reviews globally although some critics were quick to solely focus on the erotica content, labelling it as softcore pornography. Undoubtedly this was not Tinto Brass's intent as he portrayed the world of prostitution through the eyes of an innocent girl. Brass captured the experiences and emotions of Paprika in a humorous, though at times frightening, take where he portrayed the role of the brothel in society yet focused on the individual's life as prostitute.
The distinctive play on mirrors and reflections, Tinto's trademark, was not in short supply but for earlier Tinto Brass fans, the lack of fantasy scenes interspersed among gratuitous sex may be lacking. Despite the fact that Tinto Brass searched long for the right actress and eventually settled for a newcomer as Paprika, Deborah Caprioglio shone in the role. She captured both the innocence of Mimma and the strength of the worldly wise Paprika as she blossomed in the classy brothels of the day. Overall Paprika is a must see for those wishing to go beyond just a flesh flick with a loose plot.