Scrolling through your feeds on various social media handles on your smart phones, you encounter numerous hashtags and viral messages that urge you to show your support for gender equality and equal rights through the fruitless tasks of sharing and liking the content. Are you one of those oblivious people who think that in this modern-era, the call for the need for gender equality is unnecessary and exaggerated? Do you, too, believe that Feminists are no egalitarians but instead just want to dominate the society and prove that men are chauvinistic pigs? Then, dear friend, this movie is a must watch for you in order to educate yourself.
Lipstick Under My Burkha is a drama filled entertainer, following the chronicles of four women in a patriarchal society. Set in a small-town, it beautifully captures the adversities faced by Muslim women in a male oppressed society and portrays their desire for freedom.
Rehana Abidi, portrayed by Plabita Borthakur, is a college fresher and aspiring artist who struggles to find her own identity and desire to fit in with the ‘in-crowd’ at college while continuously pushing against the societal norms. Not only is Plabita’s acting flawless but her character strikes a chord with the youth. While Rehana is busy blasting Miley Cyrus behind closed doors, Usha, brilliant played by Ratna Pathak Shah, bravely ventures into new and uncharted territory to satisfy her sexual fantasies. Aahana Kumra, played by Leela, is a beautician who desperately tries to run away from the narrow lanes of a town filled with extremely narrow-minded people while Konkana Sen Sharma as Shireen Aslam plays a dominated housewife who is secretly a successful saleswoman but is treated a mere object of lust by her husband.
The secret lives and desires of these women are portrayed and well-knit together by the filmmaker, Alankrita Shrivastava. Burkha is used a symbol of oppression and misogyny that these women face in their day-to-day life while the lipstick denotes their desire for freedom and symbolizes their journey on the way to breaking the shackles of patriarchy and sexism.
The Indian mentality of ‘Log kya kahenge?’ is the central theme of the script and something that everyone can relate to. The double standards and hypocrisy of the society are well-highlighted with incredible performances from the cast. The movie ignites variety of emotions ranging from anger and frustration to shock at the helplessness of the women as they try to rebel against the narrow minded and senseless norms of the society.
The movie had to conquer several obstacles and win numerous fights just to get released in our so called “progressing” country. It’s reception has been even more controversial. I urge everyone to give it a go with “an open-mind” and become a part the much needed conversation that this extremely “lady-oriented” movie has started!
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Medical Enthusiast. Loves social Networking. Crazy about junk food and four legged pooches.