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Lipstick Under My Burkha – Movie Review

I FINALLY WATCHED IT! Thanks to Amazon Primevideo where it’s now streaming, I finally watched the most “controversial” movie of this year! So how did I find the “lady-oriented” movie? Read on to find out.

Note: I put up images that would offend Mr. Pahlaj Nihalani because WHY NOT?

The trailer (not the second one but the bolder first one) was oh so good. Unashamed. Unapologetic. The film is directed by debutante director Alankriti Srivastava and features Konkona Sensharma, Rathna Pathak Shah, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur in main roles. Vikrant Massey and Sushant Singh play supporting roles.

The other three women and their families are tenants in Rathna’s old mansion house. The four women lead different lives but share the same sense of quiet, secret rebellion. Be it changing from burkha to t-shirt and jeans in a Sulabh complex on the way to college, or doing a sales job without husband’s knowledge, or even a 60-year old woman going to swimming classes and fantasizing about her 20-something instructor!

These are ordinary women with ordinary desires. But how easy is it for women to satisfy even ordinary desires in a country like ours? Pretty difficult, if you ask me. Like a million other women, these four ladies try to live their dreams without the ever-scrutinizing, accusing and judgemental gaze of society falling upon them. When the inevitable happens eventually, humiliation ensues. Lipstick Under My Burkha mirrors the current lives of women in India. Like in real life, nothing ends on a rosy note. It’s like we are lifted and dropped in the lives of all these women for a few days and then lifted off from there again. But nothing, nothing can take away the earnestness of this film. It’s all heart.

Rathna Pathak Shah as the older woman who reads sleazy Indian fiction is PERFECT. Rathna ma’am, you are a boon to the industry! And Konkona is effortless as always, in a character that’s got several layers to it! Newbies Aahana Kumra (also seen in Amazon Primevideo’s Inside Edge) and Plabita Borthakur are on point too, breathing life into their characters with such ease that it is difficult to say it’s their first film. Vikrant Massey is a gifted actor. Very few actors have it all in their eyes and Vikrant is one of them.

The first half is racy; the second dips a little. Dialogues by Gazal Dhaliwal are the best I have heard in recent times.

I’m going with 4 out of 5 for this one!

PS: All images are YouTube screenshots from the movie’s official trailer.

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