Delving deep into the underbelly of India’s film industry, where back-alley producers churn out everything from pulpy horror movies to soft-core porn, MISS LOVELY takes us back to the Mumbai of the 1980s with lurid detail and intoxicating style.
Working out of sleazy hotels and abandoned warehouses, brothers Sonu (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and Vicky (Anil George) are prolific producers of trashy, C-grade films for Mumbai’s booming and underground markets. The ambitious, domineering Vicky is the unquestioned brains of the operation, leading the dim-witted Sonu deeper into a world of divas, money men and movie-loving gangsters. But this precarious partnership is put to the test when the brothers meet Pinky (Niharika Singh), an exquisite ingénue with a shady past. Director Ashim Ahluwalia has created a hyper-stylized, retro thriller that explores the awful truths of exploitation cinema as well as its strange pleasures.
“I hope we do hear more from Indian director Ashim Ahluwalia, whose lively, fast-and-loose Miss Lovely, about two brothers toiling in the world of Bollywood B-movie and softcore porn production in the Eighties, had an off-kilter, at times delirious first hour and then settled into a pungent story of jealousy, betrayal, and doomed love.” -Gavin Smith, Film Comment
“A very impressive talent, and given the oppressive conventions of the Indian film industry, he’s clearly an independent spirit and then some.” -Jonathan Romney, Sight & Sound
“Something new in Indian filmmaking, neither Bollywood nor traditional art cinema, the pic provides a unique, immersive experience…one that owes as much to docu and experimental filmmakers as to Scorsese, Welles and von Sternberg, plunging viewers into the characters’ social milieu.” –Alissa Simon, Variety