Miss Lovely is here

After a long wait, Ashim Ahluwalia’s Miss Lovely is finally releasing in India on January 14. Set in the sleazy world of Mumbai's C grade film industry of 1970s, the film has made waves on the festival circuit and is the first film that Nawazuddin Siddiqui signed as the protagonist. “When I met Ashim for the audition I related to the world of C-grade movies because I have been part of C grade film world. Not many people know that when I came to Mumbai I worked in a few C-grade movies so I know how that world functions, their mind-sets, the parties…. Ashim did not want a conventional performance. Miss Lovely has given me the experience of a raw and realistic performance,” says Nawaz, who is playing the producer of sleazy films.

Former Miss India Niharika Singh, who makes her debut, describes the film as an intense Russian novel which sucks you into its drama. Aashim had a hard time searching for the leading lady because many mainstream actors that he approached felt that he is making C-grade film. “I needed actors who would completely understand the space of the movie because it is completely new and different. It is not Bollywood or a sleazy flick. It came as a surprise when Niharika readily agreed to do the film. I asked her many times if she was sure about doing the film and if her parents knew what she is doing in the film.”

Ashim, who is known for his edgy ad films, admits that the film has sexual content but clarifies that it does not promote sexual violence against women. The film has been given A certificate by Central Board of Film Certification. “The Censor Board started with 157 cuts and after four reviews we just have 3-4 cuts. I think the Censor Board has been reasonable. We don’t want to mislead anyone. This is not a family film and we are not releasing 5,000 prints. I want people to watch this film to know what the world of C-grade cinema is like.”

The queen in the making

2013 ended with mixed feelings for Kangana Ranaut. While in Krissh 3 she stole the thunder from Priyanka Chopra, the leading lady of the film, her own solo vehicle Rajjo sank without a trace. Now the teaser of her forthcoming film Queen is making waves on the Internet. In the video she is seen in a non-glamorous avatar and is asking viewers to suggest what all they did during their honeymoon. Now it is learnt that the actor has contributed some dialogues to the film as well. Given that Kangana plays a small town girl called Rani in the film, there was a reel life-real life connect which inspired the actor to contribute towards the dialogues. Director Vikas Bahl says, “I like it when characters find their own language in the film. That’s why, as Kangana got more into the character, I wanted her to have lines that came naturally to her”. Kangana adds, “I have to talk like a real person and I have to be candid because I play the part of a shy, sheltered and submissive girl, who is very protected by her family.”

Going local

It is no longer about just Delhi or Uttar Pradesh. Now, filmmakers are looking for titles and subjects that can create instant connect with the audience of North India. There is a film called NH 24 in the offing. Then there is Muavza on the Bhatta Parsaul incident. Now eminent theatre director Sachin Gupta is turning to cinema with a film called Paranthe Wali Gali. A love story that blossoms in the famous lane in Old Delhi, it is being shot at Dariba Kalan, Kinari Bazaar and Khari Bauli, places which have not made it to celluloid yet. Set in the backdrop of theatre, Gupta says that it is a sensitive film about dreams, success and failure where food adds to the romance. Hope the film will not go the Zila Ghaziabad way where the city was largely missing on the screen!

Desperate measures

Headline hunting takes a new low as the marketing team of Sanjay Chhel’s upcoming film Kill The Rapist has come up with a teaser where at the end of disturbing visuals the audience are asked to call a number to register their yes or no on whether they want the rapist to be killed during the climax or not. The film inspired by the Delhi gang rape incident stars the National Award winning actor Anjali Patil in the lead role. Chhel, who shot to fame as the dialogue writer of films like Rangeela and Yes Boss, didn’t find much success as a director as none of his films after Khoobsurat clicked at the box office. Perhaps desperate times demand desperate measures!