Lipstick Under My Burkha Review : This Enthralling film will rock the nation | PINKVILLA



Lipstick Under My Burkha is a beginning of a fresh voice, the powerful voice of a woman whose film points out everything that’s lopsided in this society we live in.

konkona sen sharma,Ratna Pathak Shah,Reviews,Lipstick Under My Burkha


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Once you’ve watched Lipstick Under My Burkha, you realise why the film was so rattling for the CBFC. I doubt any of the 60-year-old, ever so righteous, moral police oldies could make sense of something as bright and vicarious as this film. It’s easily the best film that’s come this year. Before moving ahead, Alankrita, the director deserves a doffing of hats. Your lady oriented piece of audacious blasphemy is the most delightful piece of cinema in recent times. The film has four ordinary women, so deeply conditioned into believing that they are the second class citizens, that they’ve quit questioning their status long ago. The most relatable of the lot is the young Rihanna – like rockstar who dreams big but hides behind the long veil of her burkha. As she does her silent performances in the confines of her room, she comes across as an innocent young-bie struggling with patent issues, dreaming of kissing bad boys and wearing hip clothes. Much in contrast is the life of Buaji, considered asexual and non-entity, she at times seems to have forgotten her name – Usha. As she breathes in life into her fantasies, she becomes even more detestable to the world. Even though those around her hardly ever spell out why her desperation is unacceptable to them, her scandalous ways are revolutionary for many like her who are shunned and forced to kill their desires. Which brings us to Shireen, a woman dominated by her chauvinistic husband whose libido is satiated by mechanically hurting her. Thankfully, there is one of them who uses sex as a tool to arm twist her men only because she cannot have the one she loves. 

So much of what the film is, depends on its fabulous cast. Ratna Pathak Shah stands out as she compels people to look at older spinsters in a new light. Coming close to the bravado is Konkona Sensharma who is fabulous as the lady leading dual lives. Plabita and Aahana are both wonderfully fresh and boisterous, as much as the film’s refreshing tone. Alankrita gets the milieu right. Part of why these women seem abnormal to the uncles at our Sanskari Board is because they are the ones with morals, unlike the city bred urban Indian women. These women are socialized into curbing their joys and desires early on in life. But such is the human heart, it wants with all its might. 

The film’s parting scene around Diwali, bringing together the dramatic lives of these ladies, every bit scr***d up is just the finale to watch. It’s beautifully written sequences expose the hypocrisy of the society and yet, it isn’t the angry film it was made out to be. There is such happiness in watching these women grapple their issues with dignity, questioning the flaws which distort the power equation in the society. But it will be too much to expect that this film can change anything. It is a beginning of a fresh voice though, the powerful voice of a woman whose film points out everything that’s lopsided in this society we live in. Give this shade of lipstick a chance, it’s deep red is the start of a new revolution.

We rate it a 80% on the Pinkvilla Movie Meter.

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