Venue: DLF Place Saket
Date: 27 July 2017
Pic Source: Internet (Praksh Jha Production)
Lipstick Under My Burkha is a women centric film that received a lot of publicity before its release for issues with censor board. Looks like the publicity has helped the film getting a lot of eyeballs. Consequently the social media is abuzz with a mixed response for the film. Directed by Alankrita Shrivastava and produced by Prakash Jha who has been making films on social issues, Lipstick Under My Burkha is a huge disappointment.
The film is based in a fantasy land called Bhopal (pun intended), where there exists no decent man. All the abla naaris are facing pressure from husbands, fathers, brothers, nephews and overall society and there is no freedom in their lives. The 4 heroes of Lipstick Under My Burkha are:
1. Ratna Pathak Shah (Buaji) – An older woman who is infatuated with a younger man and likes sex chatting with him on phone anonymously.
2. Leela (Ahana Kumra) – A lower middle class woman who had sex with her boyfriend on the night she is getting engaged to another man. Bechaari poor woman just had one boyfriend and one fiancee, both madly in love with her. Such a sad life…
3. Konkona Sen (Shirin) – A Muslim salesgirl who is strong enough to do a job and excel in it but does not have courage to tell her husband that she works. Sob sob.
4. Rehana (Rehana) – A girl who likes to dance like a pop (read porn) star on weddings and steal dresses, shoes and cosmetics from shops so that she can party hard late in the night. Unfair!
On the other hand are men – all bloody villains – raaste ka kaanta – not letting these women do above mentioned things and coming in their way of being footloose and fancy free.
Lipstick Under My Burkha creates more steroetypes than it breaks. To create sympathy for women they made villains out of men totally typecasting them as bad people. We are surprised at the lopsidedness of the script and direction. Is it even possible that none of these women ever came across a supportive and decent man in their lives?
Don’t base your films in reality if your characters are so unreal and unbelievable. In first half Buaji appears to be a matriarch (like sister Supriya Pathak in Ramleela) strong enough to handle cops and lawyers by bribing them in mithai boxes, waiving rents from tenants and ordering around brothers and their family members. Cut to second half, the brothers found out about her secret desires and she’s thrown out of her house – just like that… we were shocked… did this just happen…
Leela can’t make her mind up if she wants to be with the abusing boyfriend or the decent husband to be. When the husband is nice he’s shown as a caricature. He’s almost been mocked for being nice to her and not wanting sex before marriage.
We have no sympathy for people who shoplift for whatever reason and there is no gender bias here. Definitely not for those who steal to look hot in a party… WTF… Surprisingly the CCTV cameras started working only in the second half of the film. Her friends are as unreal as Kareena Kapoor’s girl friends in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham… saying whatever!!!!!! (edited)
Konkona is stuck with one expression from Mr. and Mrs. Iyer to Lipstick Under… (barring Wake up Sid of course where she is brilliant). Her acting was fine but her role was unbelievable. How did she manage to sell so much to her customers when she couldn’t manage to sell an idea of using condom to her philandering and errant husband?
The film has unnecessary sex scenes every now and then and is dragged beyond our patience. The film is definitely not urban. In today’s day and age men have women bosses giving them tough times, nagging and demanding wives, corrupt woman police officers and politicians, cheating girl friends and what not. Let’s not live in a make believe world where men have the last laugh.
Finally – smoking and reading porn are not liberation. They are proscribed irrespective of which gender pursues it. Does the director think just because (in her head) only men smoke – that’s the thing to do??
Note to director and writers: Drop the burkha and see the reality or watch Queen to see what freedom is all about.