Watched the movie Lipstick Under My Burkha 2 days ago. Had an impression that it is an erotic, feminist, controversial film, which it turned out to be. It is a story of 4 women (actually 5) living in a conservative city of Bhopal and how their lives are interconnected. They belong to different age, class, religions, educational backgrounds. The common thread is their dreams, desires and choices they make.
The oldest lady owns a huge house, parts of which are given on rent, owns a sweets shop and enjoys authority and leisure with equal ease. A widow at young age, she has unfulfilled sexual desires which she satisfies by reading Mills and Boons kind of Hindi erotic books, of course covered under magazines. Her desires are rekindled when a swimming coach jokingly gives her a registration form to join swimming class. What follows is her chase to fulfill desires in some times silly and some times adventures actions.
Another lady is a young mother of 3 children whose husband on his visits from the gulf makes her pregnant. She secretively works as a sales woman in a small company and is a star performer. She lives a dual life of victimhood and aspirations. Victim of marital rape, husband not using protection not bothered about her, husband having an extramarital affair, giving her STDs and frequent pregnancies. She goes for abortions, takes pills, earns money and gets promoted in her job. Yet, when she accidentally discovers about her husband’s affair, she gives it back to the other woman, but finally gets abused by her husband.
Third lady is enterprising young lady who runs her ‘lacy’ beuty parlor and dreams of running a business and settling in a glamorous big city. She enjoys sex, uses it as a means to get what she wants, but falls flat on her face when the man she uses as partner in crime ditches her. She is rejected by her fiance also who comes to know of her sexual adventures. Her mother, not much important character in the movie works as a nude muse for finearts students to repay debts and run the house. In a way helpless, but she has made a choice of an occupation not taken up by many women.
The fourth is an innocent but ambitious teen age girl who wants to become a rock star, but poor and orthodox parents cage her dreams. She walks on path of claptomania, smoking, drinking alcohol, late night party- thinking all these will bring her closer to her dream, but is devastated when her secrets are revealed and she is belittled and betrayed. In her story I felt that it she was punished for not entirely her fault. But she too had dreamt, desired and dared to do unconventional things.
Overall, it is a heart numbing movie talking about gender bias, marital rape, consequences of actions of women when they step out of boundaries set by the society. 2 women are Muslim 2 Hindu, which makes it all the more interesting and palatable, however their lives and destinies are same.
The writer- director has not made the climax preachy which is a big plus. Overall a good watch 🙂