With a riveting plotline, fabulous content imbued with the performances by the celebrated artists and after a long due struggle, Lipstick Under My Burkha finally hit the box office few weeks before. The curtains were raised to challenge the idea that has been propagated for centuries that a woman is meant to be kept under suppression.
A much-awaited movie, ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’, can be rightly called as the magnum opus of its Director Alankrita Shrivastava. The spectacular movie is her brainchild who, despite all obstacles, stood by her will power and hung in there to bring forth the desires of almost half the population of the country on the silver screen.
The film that was critically acclaimed globally and earned recognition and praise from the nooks and corners of the world had to face a series of shortcomings for its release in India. The esteemed officials of Central Board of Film Certification found the ‘lady-oriented movie’ sexually explicit, unfit for the public and perhaps threatening to the patriarchal society. It was thus shamelessly banned. The filmmaker Alankrita had to underwent a heavy criticism and lashings of the officials. She had to face struggle to get the approbation of the board members. The ban was put up, as the officials framed, due to the content of the movie that seemed to be offensive towards the Muslim community. The shallow minds of the ‘big people’ reflected their insecurity and bogus literacy.
It is a simple movie that revolves around the lives of the four women in Bhopal who seek freedom from the clutches of the male-dominated society. The movie expresses the desires of women, their fears, and the subtleties that cling to their dependent existence. It also boldly advocates the sexual fantasies of the Indian Women, a subject that is frowned upon and seen with disdain. The restrictions imposed on a female are shown meticulously and how they intend to belittle her importance is reflected in the nuances of the movie. The stellar performances of the four lead women – Ratna Pathak Shah, Konkona Sen Sharma, Ahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur amazes the audience. The adept Alankrita brings alive the hidden whims and wishes of women and captivates each splendid shot behind the camera.
The appropriate title is chosen to be in sync with the message conveyed through the movie. Lipstick symbolizes desires and the Burkha represents the patriarchal society. The women assert to break free from the chains she has been carrying since time immemorial and show to this naked world her savage soul. This larger-than-life bolly flick stands apart from its contemporaries in the respect that it exhorts the women to find herself. The predicaments depicted in the movie are not merely a product of sheer imagination. Rather it mirrors the darkness in which a woman is plunged for ages. The repercussions that challenge their spirits make them stronger and braver. Each woman who watches this movie can identify with its narrative.
The hard-line task to bring up a sensitive topic to the fore is executed by the entire team wonderfully. The spirit of the entire team represents their audacity and determination. The skill with which four distinct lives are knit impeccably is evident of Alankrita’s dedication and flair for filmmaking.
“I was behind you…
Following your footsteps silently,
Refraining from diverting from the trail
that you left behind,
and chart a path of my own bravely.
Oh! How meek I have been,
Tolerating your lashings and obstruction,
Crying and hiding behind the curtains,
With all the impositions with which you caged me.
Now I am going to step forward,
Not anymore behind you,
But I am going to tread the path,
Parallel to you.
I’ll raise my voice,
To put forth my case,
That was long overdue,
I will challenge you, tirelessly,
And, that’s my promise.”
The women need to be resolute in the pursuit of their freedom. This journey is not ending anytime soon.