Paprika - Lilith Likes to Watch Mystery Month

Title: Paprika
Starring: Debora Caprioglio, Stéphane Ferrara
Director: Tinto Brass
Synopsis: A young country girl comes to town and works in a brothel in order to help her fiancée get the money to start his own business. “Paprika” is the name given to her by the madam. Tinto Brass’ personal and faithful adaptation of John Cleland’ ‘Fanny Hill’, is a sexy comedy from the 90s, at the height of his erotic career. - Via
Lilith's Notes: Apparently Tinto Brass took a crack at Fanny Hill.

"I'm a whore and I'm proud of it!"

Well, they can't all be winners.

You would think an adaptation of Fanny Hill directed by Tinto "Fuck You I Made Caligula" Brass would be good, and maybe if I didn't have such delicate sensibilities, I would have found it more enjoyable, but boy was this a confusion, brash mess.

Mimma (Played by Debora Caprioglio)is a beautiful young woman who enters the business of legal prostitution to make money so her fiance, Nino, (Played by Luigi Laezza) can start a business. It was his idea, of course, and she loves him so she agrees, and after all, it's only for fifteen days.

Mimma is beautiful, twenty-three and easily exploited. The madame (played by Martine Brochard) gives her the stage name of Paprika, and she sets about earning money on her back.

When she finds out her Nino is cheating on her she falls into despair and gets trapped in a cycle of "I want to leave the business" and someone tells her no and she replies with "okay".

Later, Rocco, the pimp of one of the girls at the brothel (Played by Stéphane Ferrara) comes in and beats the shit out of her for keeping money hidden from him. What does Paprika do? She follows him to a train, gets fucked by him in a scene that is surrounded by questionable consent issues and let's him be her pimp.

This was where I lost all sense of sympathy for our main character. There's no sense of loyalty. You saw what he did to Frufru! I think we are supposed to understand that he is her ticket to a life of greater wealth but I have no idea how she came to that conclusion.

He whores Paprika out to a party where everyone is having a good time hopped up on coke and she let's the prince, (Played by John Steiner) into her butt. Immediately after, he dismisses her by telling her he doesn't talk to those who do butt stuff and she feels dirty and discarded.

She's swindled by a guy who marries her, convinces her to buy him a boat and then he fucks off. I think his name was Franco. (Played by Stéphane Bonnet)

Everyone takes advantage of her.

Absolutely everyone.

Eventually, she thinks she's pregnant and goes to get that taken care of. As the procedure is about to begin, the doctor fucking groped her and I was so extremely furious and disgusted and fuck you movie this is gross.


Sometime later Paprika marries an old man (Played by Renzo Rinaldi) and becomes a countess or duchess or something. A law is passed that closes down all the legal brothels and she returns to her first nesting hole and offers her body in celebration to all the good times legal sexwork ever experienced.

This movie has no sense of time. There's no timeline. I have no idea how long we have been following Paprika or how much time has passed. There are no dates, no historical markers, nothing.

The sex is bad. It is some of the worst simulated sex I have ever seen. And you all know how much I hate unconvincing theatre sex. To compound the badness, a lot of it is rife with "no, no, stop" in a way that isn't fun for me. At one point a lady reporter (Played by Nina Soldano) asks Paprika to treat her as she would any of her clients, but when the sex starts, she keeps saying no and stop and Paprika just keeps going. Paradoxically, it's also the best scene in the movie, even better if you watch it on mute and with the subtitles turned off.

Not everyone can be a perfect victim and Paprika does go through a lot of terrible things but your main character should at least be likable, which Paprika was not.

The acting is bad, the sex is bad, the sense of time is atrocious.

Oh, and did I mention this film is meant to be a comedy?

Joke's on me, I guess.

Best Moment: The sex scene with the reporter, as short and dubious-consent-y as it was.

Worst Moment: The pregnancy termination scene. It was gross and you have no idea how badly I wanted to flip tables. Goddamn.

LILITH'S SCORE: 2/5 - The weakest of Tinto Brass' work. At least the clothing fit better than it did in The Voyeur.

Until next time, my voracious voyeurs. I’m Lilith, and I’m always watching.

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