The Scent Of Green Papaya

The Scent Of Green Papaya (1993)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Tran Nu, Yen Khe, Nguyen Anh Hoa
Extras: Theatrical Trailers

Not very many Vietnamese films make it into American theaters despite the fact that Vietnam regularly produces such movies. One of the most acclaimed ones is Tran Anh Hung’s 1993 character drama ’The Scent Of Green Papaya, ’ a film that is not only serene in its beauty, but also in the way it tells its story of Mui, a young peasant girl in the service of a rich family as she grows up into a world she doesn’t belong to. Tradition and conventions make it hard for her to live a full live, but when she grows into a beautiful young woman. Her upper-class lover is willing to break with conventions.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment is bringing us ’The Scent Of Green Papaya’ in the movie’s original 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio. The transfer is beautifully clean and clear with rich and deep colors that bring out the best of the film’s enchanting cinematography. The transfer has very good definition, revealing even the most intricate details and the deep black create a strong contrast that firmly roots the picture. No edge-enhancement is evident and no compression artifacts degrade the picture in any way, making this a truly beautiful film to behold.

The DVD contains the movie’s original Vietnamese Stereo language track. Like the video, the audio on the disc is of very good quality without defects, hiss or distortion. The frequency response if wide with good bass and clear high ends. The track also manages to nicely reproduce the subtle ambient noises that make up a majority of the film, such as the rain in the background or the soft rustling of leaves. Dialogues are well integrated and always distinguishable.

After their disappointingly flawed releases of Hong Kong movies, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment serves up a spectacularly beautiful version of ’The Scent Of Green Papaya.’ The film has never looked or sounded better ever, and gets high notes across the board. For fans of emotional and sensitive character dramas, this DVD comes highly recommended.