After the Miss Lovely
premiere in Cannes, Jonathan Romney of leading UK film magazine Sight & Sound stated, "A brief word for Miss Lovely
in Un Certain Regard. This started off as a shock to the system - an Indian film like I'd never seen." On the director, Ashim Ahluwalia, Romney says, "He's a very impressive talent, and given the oppressive conventions of the Indian film industry, he's clearly an independent spirit and then some."
Early reviewers expecting a thriller were taken off-guard by the film's strong art-house style and unusual storytelling technique. They may have been too quick to write it off, however, as major international critics have since weighed in.
Alissa Simon of Variety says, "Ashim Ahluwalia makes an impressive transition to features with Miss Lovely
, an atmospheric tragedy set in the sordid world of Bombay's exploitation-film industry during the late 1980s. Those who go with the flow will find the thrill is in the Mumbai-born, Bard College-trained helmer's bravura and baroque visual style, one that owes as much to docu and experimental filmmakers as to Scorsese, Welles and von Sternberg, plunging viewers into the characters' social milieu."
Simon Jablonski of AnOther Magazine writes: "Among all that glitters at Cannes Film Festival, there was little quite as visually spectacular as Miss Lovely, directed by Ashim Ahluwalia as part of India's New Wave scene. Constantly moving and switching between genre pieces - a gangster flick then a love story then an art house film. Stylistically it's reminiscent of 90s Chinese cinema such as Chungking Express than anything you'd associate with the Bollywood tradition."
Since its premiere in Cannes, there has been growing international interest in the usual film and the director. On May 25th, The New York Times and International Herald Tribune carried full-page profiles on Miss Lovely titled "Mumbai in The Bad Old Days."
has since been sold to numerous international territories including to distributor Ad Vitam of France.