Monday 20 January 2014

Miss Lovely [2012]

Miss Lovely is a marvelous homage to the seedy and sordid world of Bombay’s defunct underground Z-grade horror, trash and sexploitation industry that played to India’s lecherous grindhouse audiences. Combining elements of a pulpy storyline, biting social commentary, wry humour and self-reflexive look at the medium at its most lowbrow, it dished us with a bleak but delectably tipsy underbelly, and was gloriously accompanied by expressionistic audio-visuals that superbly catalogued the sleazy and lurid quotient of the world being depicted. Sonu (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is the naïve and romantic younger brother of the brazenly carnal Vicky (Anil George) who’s planning to get into distribution under the banner of Duggal Brothers – a reference to the cult films of Ramsay Brothers. Things become complicated when Sonu falls head over heels with the ravishing Pinky (Niharika Singh) who, as is eventually revealed, is anything but the coy and virginal girl she seems to be. When, in order to make a film with her, Sonu steals a stash of cash that Vicky has been paid by the ruthless racket of B-Films, leading to trouble for both the brothers. And when the police suddenly start cracking down on them, there’s just no escape. The squalid, scandalous and titillative world was brilliantly created by the mesmerizing cinematography that alternated between garish colors, moody visuals and noirish chiaroscuro, and the stupendous authentic-looking art direction that spoke volumes of the director’s technical virtuosity, while the soundtrack evoked the disco age and tension in equal measures. Both Siddiqui and George were great to watch, Niharika was delicious as a femme fatale under the garb of an innocent damsel in distress, and the supporting cast was quite effective as well.

Director: Ashim Ahluwalia
Genre: Thriller/Post-Noir/Crime Thriller/Showbiz Drama
Language: Hindi
Country: India


Sam Juliano said...

Terrific review--really fascinating subject in the film, hope to see it one day!

Shubhajit said...

Thanks Sam. After a long time I was so bloody impressed by a Hindi film - this is top-drawer stuff not just for its brilliant sight & sounds, but more so for the scandalous world of Z-grade horror films (the kind forever frowned upon by the urban educated & a nearly extinct domain too) that the director so marvelously evoked & paid homage to.