"Take movies, music, poetry out of life & its gone!"
MISS LOVELY - Witness the cruel reality behind the flashlights, which certainly was, is & will remain an ugly part of the show business. (Review By Bobby Sing)
17 Jan, 2014 | Movie Reviews / 2014 Releases

After many months, finally I got to see this unusual take on the famous ‘C’ grade projects of Hindi film industry, which came into existence in the late 70s and are still operational in a different style even today. These ‘C’ grade films do have their own section of viewers which is certainly not small from any angle as you might be thinking. And an evident example of the fact is the huge fan following of all the low budget Horror movies made in the era of 70s-90s which are still in great demand in the home video market.
Actually these are the films with an overdose of sexy skin show, cheap comedy and typical horror sequences full of many distorted ugly faces walking like zombies. In fact MISS LOVELY also could not release in time due to the expected censor issues only, which objected to its blunt, sexual and at your face kind of controversial theme, taken up probably for the first time. Anyway after receiving wide appreciation at many film festivals, its finally here for the Indian audience and though I found it quite less than the expected but still had a good time watching a truthful realistic film after a long wait.
However before talking about the film in details, I would like to draw a clear picture of that era when these ‘C’ grade films used to make a good amount of money in a hidden manner. In comparative terms, where today you can easily access loads of porn stuff on your computers, phones and tabs due to the limitless internet. There was a time when entertainment was just confined to a few hours of Black & White Doordarshan (from 6pm to 11pm) and the porn stuff was only available through some cheap road-side publications, for instance MASTRAM series (on which another Hindi film is being made to be released soon). Now in those times the moment Ramsay brothers found a new formula of bringing in the audience through their horror movies (in the late 70s), many producers began making films on the similar format including lot of sexy scenes & cheap sequences thrown in deliberately. Soon a separate but substantial market of these ‘C’ grade films was established and then after it started becoming monotonous or stagnant post a few years, a new illegal way was found to give it a new life.
Honestly, I cannot remember any other film revealing this illegal twist in the trend, so clearly before MISS LOVELY. But director Ashim Ahluwalia boldly takes the lead and tells you all about the trick which was widely known as a ‘BIT’ in the inner circuit of film-makers and theater owners. Now this BIT used to be an illegal insertion of 5 to 10 minutes footage (or even more), randomly added into the running show as per the will of the projectionist, which had nothing to do with the main film at all. The BIT could be of a separate sexual shoot, a part of another bold film or even few scenes of a foreign X rated film acquired illegally. And since the viewers were not sure when the Bit would be coming, so they used to wait till the end and that actually made the show successful in terms of the tickets sold. The ‘inside trend’ became known to the authorities too after a while and then the Police used to raid such theaters in between the screening to catch them red handed, as rightly shown in the film and even the word ‘BIT’ has also been used in one of its dialogues indicatively.
So in reality, MISS LOVELY shamelessly takes you on to an exposing tour of that era when ‘uncensored porn’ used to be an important part of this ‘C’ grade cinema, mostly shown in the smaller centers. Through some exceptional performances, gritty execution and daring sequences it openly shows the truth as it is without any hiding. The makers take a good care of its detailing; depicting a particular time period and the narration does work most of the times as per its chosen subject. Interestingly, one can easily spot many nostalgic props in the backdrop such as Black & White televisions, old cameras, radio advertisements (like Natraj Pencil), various models of VCRs and more. Background music makes an intelligent use of few famous songs of those years and dialogues are specifically written with many smaller lines keeping in mind the exact characters of its storyline.
Unfortunately, despite all the above mentioned merits, I found the film not hugely engaging and entertaining, offering quite less than what was being expected in real terms. Because as per its novel, interesting and revealing subject, it ideally should have been an enlightening as well as an exciting fun ride, along with being a hard hitting take on that hidden trend in totality. But in the present version, it has a slow pace, with many dragging and not so happening moments in its first half, which surely affects the viewer’s set mindset, formed by all the articles he might have read about the film in the last few months. Yet the director does strongly expose the way young girls get exploited in the darkness behind the flashlights remarkably and the truth remains applicable even in the current decade of the new millennium, quite openly.
Hence due to an extremely dark feel, tense settings and a slow paced narration, MISS LOVELY would appeal to only a limited section of audience, appreciating such thoughtful cinema. Plus many might not find what they were looking for in the film due to one basic reason, which in turn should be considered as a compliment for its director, undoubtedly. And the reason lies in the fact that despite being a film made on the subject of all ‘C’ grade sexual movies of that gone era, the director has never shot his sequences in the same cheap manner and shows a certain kind of elegance even in his scenes dealing with sex, porn or vulgarity. So he certainly deserves his praises for the same and the film largely manages to keep you glued mainly due to its fresh & interesting subject matter and a strikingly impressive climax.
In the performances, Nawazuddin Siddiqui excels in his role of a man with mixed emotions and Anil George is a complete natural as his elder brother. Reportedly Nawazuddin did this movie long before he became the known actor of the present times and that indeed says a lot about his passion for the art and dedication. Niharika Singh plays her part well and so do Zeena Bhatia & Menaka Lalwani in their few scenes. The supporting cast provides good support to the film and I was pleasantly surprised to see the old age ‘Indian Idol’ contestant too, doing a small role in the film saying a few dialogues.
In all, at one end the film is sure going to delight the lovers of meaningful, artistic cinema. Yet on the other it might highly disappoint the ones looking for the same ‘C’ grade kind of content, the film is focused upon. Nevertheless its basic message comes up pretty clear and straight that exploitation of fairer sex was, is and will remain an ugly part of the show business....…sadly forever.
But on second thoughts, it is also a two way process based on the concept of ‘give & take’……… so you rarely see anyone complaining?
Rating : 3 / 5

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17 Jan 2014 / Comment ( 2 )

Dear Bobby,

I was waiting for this movie since 2 years but this is our Indian cinema's misfortune or something else that we have to wait and wait for such movies. This one was the Nawaz's one of the early movie which is released very late. Same thing is happening to Monsoon Shootout, which also Nawaz's another movies premiered at Cannes and it seem also another great movie as i saw some clips which was premiered.

Thanks and regards

Bobby Sing

Hi Zeeshan,
Firstly as mentioned in the review too, MISS LOVELY was one of the early films signed by Nawazuddin, probably at the time when he was quite fed up.

Secondly Yes many a times we need to wait for a film for years due to various reasons and recent examples of that are PAAN SINGH TOMAR, MISS LOVELY, THE LUNCHBOX, SHAHID and many more.

But the problem here is not with the makers, but with the audience. Because when these kind of films get released, there are no viewers in the theaters. And without any returns, they further stop buying such films for exhibitions.
So the state is not gonna change till the viewership shows a major positive change and now the same is happening with MONSSON SHOOTOUT too.

However as per my info the film has a similar concept to that of GROUNDHOG DAY & RUN LOLA RUN, but still not sure.


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