The Intoxicating Miss Lovely, a Thriller Set in ’80s India’s B-Movie Industry


Florid direction, lurid atmosphere, and reckless passions all contribute to the intoxicating deliriousness of Miss Lovely, a thriller set in 1980s India’s B-movie industry.

In that seedy environment, domineering Vicky (Anil George) and his more idealistic younger brother, Sonu (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), make their living filming murder and sex for a criminal producer who, given the duo’s greedy track record, is wary of them stabbing him in the back.

Director Ashim Ahluwalia’s film lovingly recreates the cheesy big-screen smut produced by his characters, and also embraces the industry’s fondness for swirling colors, extreme close-ups and zooms, and silky camera movements, all of which give his material a fevered intensity. When Sonu meets and falls in love with aspiring actress Pinky (Niharika Singh), promising to make her the star of his more respectable “romantic” film, he unwittingly sets himself (a deluded noir-like protagonist) and Vicky on the path to doom. In this gutter of vice and sin, base impulses are indulged voraciously and betrayal lurks around every corner. Ahluwalia’s direction generates a hypnotically nightmarish mood that renders each successive plot twist at once horrifying and all too predictable. Rife with jealousy, treachery, and violence, it’s a stylish portrait of the tangled relationship between cinematic and real-world sleaze.