Ashdoc's movie review---Lipstick under my Burkha

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Ashdoc's movie review---Lipstick under my Burkha

Post by ashdoc on Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:30 pm

The setting is the city of Bhopal , which is half Hindu and nearly half Muslim . And appropriately the movie is about the lives of four women who live in the same neighbourhood  , two of whom are Hindu and two are Muslim . The lives of the Muslim ones are cloistered under the Burkha ( hijab like garment that covers from head to toe ) , but under the veil they dream of liberation. 

Rihanna  ( played by Plabita Borthakur ) has to go to college wearing the veil , but changes clothes in public toilets to ultra stylish dresses that she has shoplifted from malls because she cannot afford to buy them . She is a fan of Miley Cyrus and leads a dual life . In college she auditions for singing western music and manages to give fiery speeches campaigning for wearing western clothing like jeans . But at home she has to work to make Burkhas to eke out a living. She goes to a late night party and drinks alcohol and falls in love with a westernized dude , kissing him shyly .

Shireen  ( played by Konkona Sen Sharma ) works as salegirl while her husband works in Saudi Arabia.  But her husband does not know she works outside and being short tempered  would expressly forbid it if he knew. Whenever he comes back he has rough sex with her without foreplay. She too is forced to wear the Burkha but tries to improve her life financially while her husband cheats on her with prostitutes. 

Leela ( played by Aahana Kumra ) is the third female, being forced to marry one guy even if she is in a on off sexual relationship with another. She dreams off running away with her boyfriend out of Bhopal to chase her dreams. She has sex with her boyfriend in total abandon in different positions without her fiance knowing of it .

The fourth is Usha aunty  ( played by Ratna Pathak Shah ) , who is a fifty five year old female.  She is consigned by society to live a life without sex because of her age , but has sexual attraction for her swimming coach.  She phones him and has sexual conversations stroking and stimulating her body without revealing her identity. 

The lives of all these females however come to a similar end ; they are caught breaking the backward rules imposed by Indian society and get punished for it and become outcasts . But as they sit together in one room ruminating over the disaster of having been caught out , they decide to laugh it away by lighting cigarettes that are forbidden by Indian society for women to smoke. It is nice to know that even in this condition they still have the fire of rebellion smouldering within them...

Even after deletion of 27 scenes the movie has some kissing and sex scenes , leaving you wondering how much sex the director wanted to pack in the movie . But why does the movie come to an unhappy end ? In my opinion the notion of happy ending would have entailed walking into the sunset with a guy in tow , and the director was loathe to tie the women's good fortunes to a guy . The director chose to show them unhappy but rebellious still . That's probably the way the director would like women to be---free through rebellion .

The movie has been made to remind us that sex and freedom are natural rights of women as much as they are of men . And it has been umabashedly hyped as a women's movie . Acting is decent by everyone and music and photography is okay too . 

Verdict---decent .

Three stars out of five .


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