Lipstick under my burkha
Cast- Ratna pathak Shah, Konkona Sen sharma, Aahana Kumar, Plabita Borthakur
The film is set in bylanes of bhopal and narrates the tale of four women living with their independence, desires and dreams supressed by the norms and expectations of society.The term burkha doesnot necessarily have a religious implication and is used to metaphorically signify the patriarchial mindset that viels a woman’s freedom.
Shireen(Konkona Sen Sharma) is a sales girl who is smart and good at her job, which she does without the knowledge of her narrow minded husband and crumbles under the sexual demands of her misogynist ,cheating husband every night for whom she is nothing more than an object to satisfy his sexual gratification.
Rihana(Plabita) is a college goer who lives duel lives as she is vieled under a burkha and family pressure by her orthodox parents but is also a Miley Cyrus fan and finds liberation in jeans, music and dance even if that means resorting to stealing to get what she wants.
Leela(Ahaana) is a beautician who is being married against her wish.She is accepting and outspoken of her Sexual desires and doesnot shy away from fulfilling her sexual needs with her boyfriend,a small time photographer.
Bhuaji(Ratna Pathak Shah) is the owner of the old building Hawa Mahal,housing many residents.She is a 55 year old widow who is thought to be devoid of any sexual desires by virtue of her age.She has been typecast by others and has forgotten her individuality so much that at one point she addresses herself as Bhuaji instead of her actual name when asked.She finds solace in errotic novels and soon finds a medium to vent out her hidden sexual urges by indulging in sexually explicit talk with her young swimming coach over phone under a hidden identity.
The movie should be credited for discussing topics that are considered a taboo.A women being a victim of marital rape behind closed bedroom doors, an unmarried women seeking sexual and economic liberation, another forced to conceal her emotional and sexual needs because of her age, all these are shown to the viewer without making the film too dramatic or too serious.In fact the film has a few lighter moments that bring humour to the story.The film doesnot have a fairy tale or revolutionary ending but successfully manages to potray the willingness and desire of women to come out of the oppression and shackles of society. A combination of great performances by the main and supporting actors combined with a story waiting to be told, the film is a must watch for everyone who craves for good cinema!