Reviewed byTakethispunchVote: 9/10/10
Rehana Abidi seeks the freedom to be who she wants. A two-timingbeautician (Leela) seeks to escape the claustrophobia of her Bhopalcommunity. A housewife (Shireen Aslam) with three children seeks thealternative life of a saleswoman. A 55-year-old widow, Usha findssexual reawakening through a telephone romance with a young swimmingcoach.
Reviewed byAkash ParidaVote: 8/10/10
This is one of a kind cinema which is rare to see in India.Fascinations of 4 women entangled together so beautifully yet ghastlypresent the lives of secret India. I am a connoisseur of this brand ofcinema. The actors have done justice to the seamless writing offered tothe film.This movie - In one word - Remarkable!!
Reviewed byArun GeorgeVote: 6/10/10
There's more to like than dislike when it comes to the film 'LipstickUnder My Burkha'. The film narrates the tale of four women in aneighborhood in Bhopal.
Leela (Aahana Kumra) wants to run a honeymoon-management venture withphotographer (and sexual partner) Arshad (Vikrant Massey) around thesame time that she gets engaged to Manoj (the typical groom with 90sBollywood sensibilities) leaving her in a dilemma on who to choosewhile going forward in life. Rehana (Plabita Borthakur) gets to portraya character that resembles the film's title - a college student wholoves to wear bold designer dresses, jeans and sneakers (and of course,lipstick) under the dark burkha she dons while leaving/returning herhome (her folks are in the tailoring business). Shirin (Konkona SenSharma) is a saleswoman by day (which her husband doesn't know of) andsex-object for her husband by night. Usha Buaji (Ratna Pathak Shah) isin her mid 50s, a matriarch known for her uprightness. She secretlyengages in a horny phone- romance with a young swimming coach.
Wait, all these characters are actually different shades of 'Rosy' -the fictitious heroine of an erotic novel, read by Buaji. Or are theynot? While the film raises valid points on freedom of expression (interms of occupational aspirations, dressing styles, sexual interests ortaste in music even) when it comes to womenfolk, it does so at byportraying most of the men characters as vile/rotten/insecure. Is it sohard to make a feminist film without depicting the men as scoundrels(cheating husbands, jealous and instantly-dumping boyfriends, daddieswho believe their daughters should be hidden away in boxes)? I think afeminist masterpiece would take shape only when women are portrayed(holistically) on/above par with their strong-willed (and well-written) better halves. That's when you feel a sense of genuinegratification. 'LUMB' ultimately falls well short on this aspect andthe climax has the feel of an under-cooked dish (symbolic of one ofthose 'shredded novellas').
Of all the four characters, I think I'd have to go with Shirin. Konkonainduces a tinge of subtlety to her character that the viewer finds easyto empathize with, and also gets some of the best-written scenes in thefilm (one involving a pest-control gun). While the rest of theperformances are solid on their own terms, it is the intrepid renditionof certain (though-of-as) tabooed themes that mostly strike the vieweras refreshingly good. And here's something I found quite odd. Rehana isboth a 'Miley Cyrus' and 'Led Zeppelin' fan. (It almost feels like shehas only listened to that one path- breaking popular song from a bandand all of a sudden, started addressing them as her favorite!).
This isn't 'English Vinglish', 'Queen' or 'Parched'. Still, I'd say'LUMB' is worth a viewing for its unabashed take on women's desires andaspirations (regardless of age), though with its own set of flaws.
Verdict: Not a must-watch, but worth checking out!
Set in the crowded by-lanes of small town India, Lipstick Under My Burkha chronicles the secret lives of four women in search of a little freedom. Though stifled and trapped in their worlds, these four women claim their desires through small acts of courage and stealthy rebellion.