Film Review: Lipstick Under My Burkha
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This bold feminist film by director Alankrita Shrivastava focuses on the sexual desires, dreams and ambitions of four middle class women in a small society in India. Though feministic films have been seen before in Arabic countries, Lipstick Under My Burkha stands out in India for showing a daring and colorful picture of the secret life of women. Lipstick Under my Burkha is narrated by the voice of Rosy, a character from the forbidden erotic novel “Lipstick Dreams” read by one of the main characters. This voice becomes the expression of the dreams and desires of the “every woman” of India. In this case, this is represented by four very different women who are each having their own rebellion against the patriarchy. Rehana (Plabita Borthakur) is the young Muslim girl who hides her burkha as soon as she comes near college ground and dreams of being the next Miley Cyrus. But she spends her evenings, ironically, sewing the burkhas she tries so desperately to escape, in her family’s shop. Leela (Aahana Kumra) a Hindu beautician in love with her Muslim photographer boyfriend dreams of freedom, but reluctantly gets engaged to a nice, rich Hindi boy, who wants their home to be so comfortable she'll never have to set foot outside it. Shireen (Konkona Sen Sharma) is 35 and the mother of three. Every night her husband forces himself on her, in the daytime she lives the secret life of a successful door to door salesman. But as a promotion happens, she faces the dilemma of giving up her job or telling her husband. And then there is Auntie Usha (Ratna Pathak Shah); 55 years old, widowed, and a very respected member of the community, secretly reads erotic novels, but when a family outing leads to meeting the young swimming instructor (Jagat Singh Solanki), she can no longer repress her desires, and she starts a phone affair with him, pretending her name is Rosy.
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