Reworked out of a shelved documentary on illegal sex-horror films in the lower depths of Bollywood, MISS LOVELY, a film by Ashim Ahluwalia is a startling piece of cinema that explores a sordid tale of betrayal and doomed love. His first narrative feature, the film is an ode to renegade film making that flouts genre conventions to conjure up a world that very few of us have access to.
The film follows Vicky and Sonu Duggal, played by Anil George and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, two brothers struggling to produce illegal sex-horror films in the mid 1980's. It explores the intense and mutually destructive relationship between the Duggal brothers and a struggling actress Pinky, played by Niharika Singh.
Besides winning the Best Film Award at the 14th Mumbai International Film Festival, the 'Reliance Media Works CreaTech (Creativity & Technology) Award' and Best Feature Film Award at the 11th Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and the official selection of Un Certain Regard in Cannes Film Festival, globally, MISS LOVELY has fascinated just about everybody. Deconstructing the morally bankrupt industry one fragment at a time, MISS LOVELY can be easily misunderstood for its original storytelling and controversial content.
Director Ashim Ahluwalia was surprised by the excitement the film has generated worldwide, from being an official entry to Cannes and Toronto to winning numerous "Best Film" awards. ''For the West, Indian cinema is either Satyajit Ray or Bollywood. MISS LOVELY, on the other hand, is a mix of so many different genres, with a storytelling style and atmosphere that is pretty wild. It sometimes moves like a novel with multiple characters and side stories. I didn't expect people to react to it so enthusiastically,'' says the director
The 'A' certification doesn't matter for this director either.
''The story does take place in the dark, lower depths of the industry, so this is not the kind of space that we usually depict in our films. It is a very adult film that explores sexuality and violence and the things that people do to each other when they are struggling to make it in a city. I'm happy that the censor board didn't ban it and, instead, eventually opted to grant it very few cuts," adds the filmmaker.
MISS LOVELY is all set for a January 17 India release.