A movie made with such a conscious blend of style and story that imparts a rhythm to itself which is one of its kind; makes the movie endearing to watch from outside perspective and at the same time so aesthetically aware of its own reality if seen from inside. What does it mean?
Well, exactly what has happened to reception of Miss Lovely till now. The movie has got immense praise from the Cannes press, when it was showcased there; praise is justified given the nature of the movie and the dramatic tangent it attempts. But in India , it is going to be a different ball game. That has been always an interesting yet anxious property of cinema that when you take a story which is set in mumbai 80s C grade sex horror film world and tells the tale of two brothers who produce such sleazy(self-referential) films, the outcome is a cinematic experience, translated as a bit alien and surrealistic, to the point of being uninteresting at times. Miss Lovely’s virtue lies in the fact that it is the movie which pushes the envelope of Indian cinema with its immense potential and clearly steers away from the mainstream Bollywood film, even when it is set in the film world that thrived in the 80s. Funny, isn’t it? Miss Lovely is the tale of Duggal brothers (played by Nawazuddin siddiqui and Anil George) and their ambitions.
They produce sex horror films and how an equally horrible turn their life takes when a young aspiring starlet enter in the life of younger brother (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). In terms of story not much is to be said; it is more of a sort of period piece rather than a concrete story told. One thing is clear with Miss Lovely; it is so conscious of its style that it does both good and the ‘undesired’ to the movie. Watching this movie might translate into a surreal and nightmarish (read cinematic) experience, but only when you happen to enter the ambition driven world of C grade films. This nostalgia might appear flat and boring to the major few and highly exciting to the minor few but then Miss Lovely can’t ask for more. This is what the film is all about and this is the reaction that the film is bound to generate.
Coming back to film, it has brilliant performances from both Nawazuddin Siddiqui and the man who comes to limelight with this movie, Anil George. He gives a genuinely captivating performance and Nawazuddin Siddiqui maintains and even extends his reputation of being one of India’s finest acting talents. Art direction of the movie is superb, recreating the 80s and the world of sex crazed horror films. Direction of the film is such that it has brought its director Ashim Ahluwalia to the world stage and the influence of world cinema can be easily seen through out the film(look out for the influences if you feel like).
Background score is really one of the stand-alone characteristics of the movie and it is orchestrated in such a way that makes Miss Lovely a brilliant ‘flawed silent film’ .Its silence both draws and alienates the viewer, constantly speaking on the behalf of the horror of lives went wrong. Guess, there can’t be any other way to it; let the tragedy speak for itself. Niharika Singh gives a equally brilliant and perfectly pitched performance in her role. Her portrayal of Miss Lovely as a mysteriously innocent girl who is victimized of her own ambition deserves genuine applause. Those who are attuned to watch world cinema and those who have an affinity for the pulp cinema of that kind, are prone to like the movie. For the rest, can’t say as Miss Lovely is a courageous and secured attempt to bring forward a story in highly stylized fashion.