LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA
Director: Alankrita Srivastava
Cast: Ratna Pathak Shah, Konkona Sensharma, Aahana Kumra, Plabita Borthakur, Vikrant Massey, Sushant Singh, Shashank Arora, Vaibhav Tatwawaadi, Jagat Singh Solanki
Reviewed By : Paridhi Tripathi
Fighting back with the censor board, breaking the norms of the Indian Society, Lipstick Under My Burkha has finally arrived with a finger and a gun! Calling the movie too ‘lady oriented’ and not giving a certificate shows the diplomacy of the people in power.
Four women living in Bhopal, somehow connected with each other deal with their lives, with the way the society wants them to outside the door, and with the way they themselves want to, behind closed doors. From an outer level, what we see is a simple tale of for woman trying to live their life which is forced on them, but as the movie accelerates, you go into a deeper, personal, political and powerful level with the simplicity shown.
Hats off to the director for the way she has narrated the tales of her heroine. A college going student (Plabita) is Burkha bound, she sings and dance behind closed doors and rebels when her college authorities ban jeans. A young girl (Aahana) wants to fly high with her dreams, but is tangled with her fiancé, who is certain to keep her caged, knowingly or unknowingly. A married woman (Konkana)is a sex slave for her husband; she is thirsty for love and gets it in a way she despises. An old lady(Ratna) suddenly has the urge to feel loved when she is asked for her name, her identity.
The simple story of the desire to break free and fly is portrayed beautifully by these four women. Their need and want might be different from one another, but at the end, these women wear the same lipstick, even if they have to cover it with a burkha. A simple title metaphorically indicates so much about the life of a woman in a society where she isn’t allowed to dream, but she actually wishes to float in them.
When censor rejected the movie, it was foreseen that the movie might have obscenity which could be offensive but voila, the way the plot has been dealt with the help of underlying meanings and cinematography is commendable. Nothing, absolutely nothing has been objectified which could be an offence. The movie is based on women of different age as they narrate their inner psyche, perhaps this is what the censor couldn’t handle and labeled it as ‘lady oriented’.
While Plabita and Aahana light up the screen and makes you want to chuckle every now and then, Konkana’s character digs you and you feel helpless just as her. Ratna’s brave endeavor in the movie leaves you spellbound.
What takes the movie to another height is the powerful acting of each and every character. although a woman oriented movie, the male characters deserve an equal applaud because of their acting abilities, convincing us they are the men we don’t like, and for taking us the brave act to show the sexist community despite being a dominant gender. Vikrank Massey’s chicanery and Shashank Arora’s nefariousness is worth a mention.
The movie has an open end –for us to decide if the doors opened by the movie makers should remain as it is or do we close them again, convinced that our society is scared of the thunderstorm a lady might bring in with her ‘lady-oriented’ persona.