Movie Review: ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’

Movie Review: Lipstick Under My Burkha

The much-awaited Lipstick Under My Burkha is a bold and brutally honest film about the unbridled dreams of four women, trapped in their lives owing to societal norms and stereotypes.

Set in a middle-class mohalla (locality) in Bhopal, the film centres around the lives of the four protagonists – Usha Parmar aka Buaji, (Ratna Pathak Shah), an elderly widow, who supresses her deep-seated physical desires, Shireen Aslam (Konkona Sen Sharma), a sales girl who does a job without her husband’s knowledge as she is a mere sex object for her husband who has scant regard for her feelings, Leela (Ahana Kumra), who loves a photographer Arshad (Vikrant Massey), and Rehana (Plabita Borthakur), a collegian who is a musician at heart and finds her ‘burkha’ stifling as it confines her.

How each of them lead an unhappy and uncomfortable life and secretly long to be someone else, forms the crux of the film.

Although the four protagonists are not related to each other in the film, the dexterous manner in which their lives are interwoven is laudable and speaks volumes for the cleverly crafted screenplay. The actors portray their characters with panache and sincerity, each one becoming the character they are essaying.

Ratna Pathak Shah although distinct in her typical style, essays the sexually repressed Buaji’ with the requisite restraint and candour befitting her calibre as an actor. Konkona Sen Sharma as Shireen, is brilliant as always but does not offer anything that one has not seen her do before.

It is Plabita as the split personality Rihana who steps out of her ‘burkha’ and is a different person who renders a realistic performance, as does Ahana Kumra. She is a bohemian, dauntless girl who is unapologetic about her physical needs and lives life on her terms.

Sushant Singh as the chauvinistic husband of Shireen Aslam is natural and convincing. Vikram Massey as Arshad, essays his character with honesty and is impressive. Other actors in supporting roles like the swimming instructor, Rehana’s father and Dhruv, Rihana’s friend, are equally sincere and praiseworthy.

Director Alankrita Shrivastava, manages to take the audience into the lives of her four protagonists with ease. The layered screenplay debunking myths about women in small towns and their bottled-up dreams and desires is well-written.

The use of erotica which ‘Buaji’ secretly reads to propel the narrative forward, metaphorically linking it to the lives of all four protagonists is astutely handled.

There are times when the situations in the film seem a tad exaggerated and sometimes unnecessary, but presumably, Alankrita takes those liberties to establish the regularity and consistency of her protagonists’ lives.

The last scene appears a bit theatrical and forced to establish the supremacy of women over society in context of the realisation of their dreams, yet ties, in the lives of the four protagonists succinctly.

Technically, the film is skillfully mounted with moderate production values. The editing by Charu Shree Roy deserves a special mention. Keep tuning to Filmi Files for more.

Overall, the hype surrounding this film is bound to get you to watch it and disappoint it won’t. (IANS)

Our Rating: ****

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Innovative Promotions For ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ Creates Online Buzz 

Innovative Promotions For 'Lipstick Under My Burkha' Creates Online Buzz

Filmi Files Bureau

Ekta Kapoor’s production house, Balaji Motion Pictures has found an innovative way to promote its upcoming film, Lipstick Under My Burkha. Recently social media networks have been flooded with the pictures of ‘Middle Finger Salute’ given by random people and the celebrities.

Lipstick Under My Burkha

The promotions started with the lead actors of ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ like Ratna Pathak Shah, Konkana Sen Sharma, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur posting pictures of themselves on microblogging site Instagram showing their middle finger to the world, holding a lipstick behind it.

Actor Riya Sen also joined the campaign and tagged three others requesting them to join the ongoing promotional activity

It has certainly caught the imagination of cinegoers who have joined the #lipstickrebellion in a big way.

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Second Trailer For ‘ Lipstick Under My Burkha’ Goes Viral

Before its release on 21st July, Lipstick under my Burkha released its 2nd trailer last week which is already creating waves. The second trailer has already crossed five million views. People are getting curious and intrigued to see the ‘most controversial film’ of the year which deals into the secret lives of four women who are being told to supress their sexuality, an ageing widow who comes on terms with her own sexuality at a later stage of life, a homemaker with kids who longs for employment, a small-town girl who is forced into a wedlock which she does not approve and a young girl college who aspires to be a pop sensation.

Starring seasoned actors like Ratna Pathak Shah, Konkana Sen Sharma and newcomers like Aahna Kumra and Plabita Borthakur, the film already hit a massive roadblock a few months ago when the CBFC refused to certify the film due to its bold subject, ‘lady oriented content, abusive language and audio pornography. But now that it has got the clearance, everyone is waiting with bated breath for this movie which is under the Prakash Jha banner and directed by Alankrita Shrivastava and which has strong feminist connotations.

Watch the trailer