News Helpline | January, 17 2014
Verdict : Miss Lovely is a cinematic feast if you like such films, but the dark and shady scenes might be too hard to handle for the masala movie-goers. ______________________________________________________________________________
Award winning director, Ashim Ahluwalia delves into the exploitation films of the late 1980s in his latest movie, Miss Lovely. The movie stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Anil George and Niharika Singh.
The film, set in the 80s, revolves around the life of a lower middle class guy named Sonu Duggal (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who comes to Bombay to make a living. Sonu finds a way to earn some money after his brother Vicky (Anil George), a B-grade filmmaker, offers him to work in his cinema. Soon, Sonu falls in love with a young and innocent girl named Pinky (Niharika Singh) and he ends up lying to her about him being a filmmaker, who wants to turn her into a star. As times goes by, Sonu gets stuck in a shady B-movie industry. The rest of the story is about whether Sonu manages to get himself out of the industry and what happens to Pinky, who’s on the verge of falling prey to her new found stardom.
Ashim Ahluwalia must be commended for picking a topic that has never been experimented with, in the Indian scenario before. It’s interesting to know and see how low budget Hindi horror movies were made in the 80s and how aspiring actors, who were struggling to survive, were dragged into the porn industry. The director brings the audience face to face with the reality behind exploitation films and it effects people’s personal lives.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who has acted in several off-beats films before, looks absolutely effortless. Right from his expressions to his style, everything suits the setting and no other actor could have been capable of portraying such a role with so much ease. Niharika Singh delivers a confident performance and looks very natural. Anil George, who plays the role of B-grade filmmaker, is mind-blowing. It’s a treat to watch him onscreen.
For people, who are used to masala and light-hearted movies in Bollywood, almost every scene in Miss Lovely will make them feel uncomfortable and such people might even feel that the film is slow and pointless. Compared to the second half, there’s nothing much in terms of story-telling in the film’s first half. Some of the scenes in the film are too painful and horrible to watch.
Technically, the film is a wonder. The experimental camera work by KU Mohanan captures the beauty as well as the shady areas of Bombay’s underbelly of the 80s. In a few shots, Mohanan also arbitrates the image through screens, windows and smoke. Also the color-faded Kodak stock and the use of the 80s costumes and hairstyles help in making the movie seem even more realistic. However, the plot doesn’t reveal much about the protagonist’s life before he comes to Bombay.
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