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MISS LOVELY (2012) in Un Certain Regard at 65th Cannes. An Interview.
India’s alternative film MISS LOVELY (2012) screened at the 65th Cannes Film Festival in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ official selection. The film’s director Ashim Ahluwalia with actors Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Anil George and Niharika Singh attended screenings and held interviews.
Read interview below with MISS LOVELY cast members Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Anil George:
ME: Was it difficult to land this role or had the director written it for you?
Nawazuddin: I did a movie with another veteran Indian actor who recommended me that I should try for this movie. I went and I talked to Ashim and they had a screen test and immediately after the screen test they accepted me and offered me this role.
ME: Can you tell us about the character you play?
Nawazuddin: I play the role of the Sonu Mogul who is the younger of brother. They are secret producers who produce underground movies that basically involve a lot of sex and horror scenes. Sonu Mogul falls in love with this girl who is also a struggling actress in Bombay and he wants to make a proper movie for her but then the circumstances get in the way, which prevent him from doing so.
ME: Can you say something about this new dimmer view of Indian life, which presents a darker seedier reality to the song and dance Bollywood many are used to?
ANIL: I feel like ‘Miss Lovely’ is an extreme risk on the part of Ashim. I do not know how it will be received by the Indian audience. It is what I would call an independent cinema or an alternative cinema completely different than the song and dance of Bollywood cinema or larger than life cinema. But this is completely different, a new experiment in a way, and I hope that it will be well received by the Indian audience.
ME: Obviously its an important experiment to make, one that will force people to face a whole different side of India?
Nawazuddin: The movie is very close to reality, this reality existed in the 70’s and 80’s and whatever is shown in the movie- the sex scenes and exploitation of women about characters using struggling actresses to sleep with them, about parents pushing their daughters to sleep with other people to get roles so they can get money. This kind of seedy reality did exist and it is absolutely true to reality and I’m really happy that this movie portrays this other side what was a realty and there is no getting away from it and it is portrayed in a very accurate manner.
ME: Would you say this film portraying a seedy reality in India is relevant for life in India today?
Nawazuddin: The story line, which is important is the way the movie is made. It’s made in a completely different way than normal movies that are made. It’s an alternative type of cinema and I think it’s important for people to be aware and open to this kind of filmmaking.
ME: What is it like to be celebrating your open of you film here at Cannes in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ category and how has your experience so far been?
ANIL: I was not aware of how big the Cannes Film Festival was. I was told it was quite big but until I actually landed here and saw how it was, until the moment I saw my movie on the screen and heard the audiences clap, I wasn’t aware of where exactly I was but once I saw my movie I was really excited and once I saw the audiences clapping and walking up to me and telling me how much they liked the movie was the best moment for me. I have captured those moments in my heart and those moments will remain with me forever.
ME: Fantastic! One more question. Can both of you tell me who your greatest inspirations are that inspire you in your acting career?
Nawazuddin: The most inspirational actor is an Indian actor named Naseeruddin Shah. The kind of roles he has done, the kind of acting he has done has been quite inspirational to me.
ANIL: I’ve been a theater actor by profession even since school days I’ve been doing a lot of theater, like in Christmas plays and other plays. But if we are talking about film actors Balraj Sahni. I really like how true to life his acting was and that is what has inspired me and that is what I try to capture in mine.
Interview by: Vanessa Mc Mahon. May 25th, 2012
OFFICIAL SUMMARY OF MISS LOVELY:
"MISS LOVELY is set in the lower depths of Bombay’s ‘C’ grade film industry and follows the devastating story of two brothers who produce sex horror films in the mid-1980s. A sordid tale of betrayal and doomed love, the film dives into the Bollywood underground – an audacious cinema with baroque Cinemascope compositions, lurid art direction, wild background soundtracks and gut-wrenching melodrama."
The Bulletin Board
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