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'Lipstick Under My Burkha' movie review: Konkona's movie celebrates girl power in patriarchal society

Produced by Prakash Jha, Lipstick Under My Burkha is directed by Alankrita Srivastava and stars Ratna Pathak Shah, Konkona Sensharma, Aahana Kumra, Plabita Borthakur, Vikrant Massey in key roles.


  |  Updated On : July 21, 2017 09:25 AM
Lipstick Under My Burkha movie review

Lipstick Under My Burkha movie review

New Delhi :  

After creating much of the controversy in the tinselvile, Konkona Sen Sharma's 'Lipstick Under My Burkha' is all set to hit the screens this Friday. The movie has been under the scanner for its bold subject and it even had a debate over its release. In fact, CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani once called it, “lady-oriented”. But the entire team fought back for the release of 'Lipstick Under My Burkha' which talks boldly celebrates the girl power and fights the male chauvinist society.

Produced by Prakash Jha, the movie is directed by Alankrita Srivastava and stars Ratna Pathak Shah, Konkona Sensharma, Aahana Kumra, Plabita Borthakur, Vikrant Massey in key roles.

Indeed, all the buzz surrounding the movie has created a sennse of curiousity regarding 'Lipstick Under My Burkha' review. So before you grab your ticket for the movie, we bring you a quick review of what the leading dailies have to say about this Konkona-starrer.

Here's 'Lipstick Under My Burkha' movie review:

Indian Express: What makes Lipstick Under My Burkha the film it is, is the upfront, frank manner in which female desire and fantasy are treated, running like a strong, vital thread through the film. Dreams can keep you alive, and age is just a number. The awakening of Buaaji, who has almost forgotten her name, is a revelation, crafted from pulpy, erotic literature, a girl called Rosie who is free to love and lust, and a well-muscled swimming coach. Shah is terrific. As is Sensharma as the wife who wants to grow wings. The younger women, both Kumra and Borthakur, are excellent as well. And the supporting cast is a delight: each one has been chosen well, and has a definite arc and function, a rarity in mainstream Bollywood.

Hindustan Times: Every character in the film deals with different kinds of prejudices and restrictions but eventually, they prove to be the same - curbing the freedom of women. The small town setting enables the four characters to be part of each others’ lives and eventually come together. Lipstick Under My Burkha is no didactic piece on how women should be treated, neither is it an all-out-war against patriarchy. The film is a subdued conversation starter - let us talk about women’s desires as well as their rights, let women open up about their dreams. Lipstick under my Burkha brings in a lot of issues - from dictates on women’s clothing to forced sex in a marriage, it addresses all of them boldly. This is a bold film not because it talks of women’s sexuality but because it draws attention to their desires and problems and does so in the most glaring colours.

Deccan Chronicle: The best part of the film is that the story of these four women are narrated through one erotica book 'Lipstick Ke Sapne'. With the depiction of Rosy in the book, the lives and issues of these four women are beautifully portrayed. Alankrita has a knack of showing her characters as raw and real entities. The film has been in several controversies since a long time. Facing a tough battle with the censor board, the film has finally emerged a winner. The intercourse scenes are relevant and shot realistically. They don't look unaesthetic. The dialogues are crass and erotic which are in tandem with the plot of the film. Since the time the promos of the film have hit the screens, Lipstick... is considered to be a revolutionary and hard-hitting film, but on the contrary, it is humorous and light. This can backfire for the makers. Though the issues dealt in the film are relatable, amongst four set of stories, only two hit the right chord. Also, the treatment of the stories is engaging and how the trajectories of all these characters culminate in the climax is extraordinary.

The Hindu: Filmmaker Alankrita Shrivastava does something uncommon in Lipstick Under My Burkha—she finds compelling stories where you thought none would exist; in the prosaic lives of four ordinary women in Bhopal, rather in the secret lives they lead as a reaction against the every day repressions. It’s in the furtive, parallel world that they can truly be their real selves, with total freedom and abandonment, and can seize happiness with both hands. It’s where they can brew a million mutinies against any tyranny or subjugation. The narrative flits from the slice of one woman’s life to another. The background narration of erotic pulp fiction is the thread that knits all these stories together and lends a definite pattern to the seeming randomness of the putting together of the scenes. The pulp fiction also serves as a metaphor of an escape route, of the many dreams and fantasies of women. On top of it, it also lends a delightful, whimsical, humourous touch to what could have otherwise been a grave and sombre matter. Lipstick…remains breezy in its audacity. It is unapologetic in giving platform to something largely brushed under the carpet—women’s sexuality—without making a big deal about it.

News18: The strength of this film, however, lies in Shrivastava’s handling of the subject. She doesn’t provide us with answers, or with superficial solutions, but just offers us a narrative, bold enough to arouse a woman’s hidden desires and valiant enough to question the patriarch mindset. In fact, the last scene takes place during the festival of Diwali wherein the lives of them four are falling apart. But does that take away their spark? Absolutely not. Even if you haven’t lived a life of restrictions, the film will feel relatable on several levels. When you’re few minutes into the film, you’d understand why it irked the Pahlaj Nihalani-led CBFC in the first place. The film is a ‘fictional’ woman’s perspective on sexual-exploration and hidden desires of women, who often resort to non-stereotypical ways, is helmed by a woman director and features four non-conformant women as leads – of course, it had to be termed ‘lady oriented’.

First Published: Thursday, July 20, 2017 02:48 PM


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