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The many battles that women fight

Angel Rani, DH News Services, Jul 22 2017, 2:01 IST
Lipstick Under My Burkha

Lipstick Under My Burkha

Lipstick Under My Burkha
Hindi (A)
Cast: Ratna Pathak Shah, Konkona Sen Sharma, Ahana Kumra, Plabita Borthakur, Sushant Singh
Director: Alankrita Shrivastava

Konkona Sen Sharma is a master saleswoman. But her marketing skills never work in her dingy bedroom. Even after countless pregnancies and abortions, she fails to sell a condom to her husband. The Saudi-returned sex machine (Sushant Singh) believes wives were made just to spread their legs. And all Konkona wants is to spread her wings.

Ahana Kumra turns the tables, though. A beautician, Kumra wears her hormones on her sleeve. She finds time for sex with her paramour even during her engagement ceremony (and records it too).

Plabita Borthakur plays a college girl who worships Miley Cyrus, but is a bottled up mess under a burkha.

Ratna Pathak Shah is buaji for everyone who stays in her Hawai Manzil, including the protagonists. A satsang regular, the widow finds it hard to suppress the stirring in her loins.
Her only outlet is erotic fiction hidden under the bed... till she meets a young swimming coach. Over to phone sex and muffled moans under a running tap.

Director Alankrita Shrivastava plants the four women in a highly patriarchal structure and lets the men trample all over them. At the same time, Lipstick Under My Burkha is an audacious attempt at women’s sexuality. And its cast is a delight. Ratna Pathak Shah stands out, with a beautiful performance about the rarely portrayed middle-age libido.

The boorish men unsettle the viewers, and one wonders why the women don’t fight back. They reapply their lipstick and move on. Instead, the women could have adopted a better posture — say, give the men the finger, just like the film’s poster does.

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