Lipstick Under My Burkha Review: Expression of reality, hidden desires, & natural whims!

Lipstick Under My Burkha Review

Lipstick Under My Burkha Review: Expression of reality, hidden desires, and natural whims!

My thoughts:

Like I have always maintained, is my little space for self-expression. It is my escape. I try and pour out my thoughts here on subjects that I may not talk about or can’t find the right people, words, and expressions to say certain things. But, via my writings, I really feel free to express without fearing the comments you guys would leave. Yes, I do sometimes feel I will be judged for saying certain things but we all are judged every day for everything that we do by some or the other person any which ways.

Lipstick Under My Burkha is like a mirror for the patriarchal society. It gives them another perspective (which they might not like) to look at women differently. Director Alankrita Srivastava and team manage to show the blunt reality to the world and especially to our society which hoards and breeds orthodox thinking with pride. Freedom is a gift that unfortunately not many women have in this country, especially in the rural and remote areas which are a different world altogether unaware of the multiple beautiful experiences and opportunities that life can offer. And, why only rural, I have seen the suppression of women in every form here in the big bright city of Mumbai. Some try to revolt, some elope, some even die a hush-hush death demanding their basic rights and freedom. Also, the topic of sex is such a taboo in the country let alone be it from the women’s side. The state of women is aptly portrayed via this film!

Freedom is something which every human craves for, the more one is kept deprived of it, the more they try to acquire it any how and that may include taking some wrong steps. So, one must be given his/her right to freedom. Also, one must learn to use the freedom rightly!

About the controversy!

All that the film has gone through (Ban, CBFC trouble) just to get a release in the Indian market, says a lot about what the thought process of some people here is! When this movie has garnered so many accolades abroad, in the international film festivals, here it had to fight a long battle to even to find a civil release. All said and done, finally, the makers can sigh a relief as it has hit the theatres successfully though in only 400 screens so far.


Lipstick Under My Burkha is a story of four women who are trying to break out of their shell that the society and their close ones have imposed on them. Shereen Aslam (Konkona Sen Sharma) is a top sales person in her company but hides this reality from her dominating husband. She has three children and her husband treats her nothing more than a sex machine. Bua ji (Ratna Pathak Shah) is a 55-year-old widow who owns an old building were several tenants live. She owns a sweet and snack corner and earns a decent living. Contrary to societal belief, she does not go for Satsang or temples but loves to read erotic novels and still has her “lipstick wale sapne.” Leela (Aahana Kumra) is a beautician and loves a photographer who is rather abusive. Her mother gets her engaged to another guy who is well settled but Leela wishes to marry the love of her life and pursue her dreams. Rehana (Plabita B) is from a conservative Muslim family who is made to stitch burkhas in her father’s shop. But, in her college, she rebels for her ‘jeans ka haq, jeene ka haq’, loves to sing and dance is a follower of Miley Cyrus! These women lie, cheat, hide and do everything they want to because they are not allowed to do those things openly. Lines like “Biwi ho shauhar banne ki koshish mat karo”, and “Kitna bhi kama lo, ghar toh nahi kharid sakti na?” among others explain the scenario rather honestly.


All the actors have done a phenomenal job in terms of the performances and made the viewers resonate and relate to the characters and their stories. Ratna Pathak Shah is a gem of an actor and truly deserves all the appreciation for her part. Konkona Sen Sharma’s realistic performance makes you feel the pain for Shereen while Plabita and Aahana bring their A game to the table when it comes to acting.

The director and the team deserve a special pat on the back for attempting such a bold and brave step! 

Lipstick Under My Burkha Review Rating: 3.5/5

So, this was my Lipstick Under My Burkha Review! What is yours? If you have watched the film, do pour your thoughts below as I would love to know! And, if not then do let me know why not!

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