Lipstick Under My Burkha Review: From libido to liberation, Movie reveals facets of women a man needs to know

Lipstick Under My Burkha Movie Review: The film has a strong message that women needs to stop decorating societal chains as her ornaments.

Reshu Manglik Reshu Manglik
Updated on: August 11, 2017 19:07 IST
Lipstick Under My Burkha Review alankrita shrivastava
Lipstick Under My Burkha Review alankrita shrivastava konkana sen sharma reveals the unexplored sides of women
  • Movie Name:Lipstick Under My Burkha
  • Critics Rating: 3.5 / 5
  • Release Date: 21st July 2017
  • Director: Alankrita Shrivastava
  • Genre: Drama

Lipstick Under My Burkha Movie Review:

Lipstick Under My Burkha courted many controversies before its release. The Alankrita Shrivastava directorial released today which the makers are purposely referring to as ‘Ek Kiss July’. It features Konkana Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak, Aahana Kumra, Plabita Borthakur and Vikrant Massey in the lead roles. The film comes with a tagline ‘It take balls to be a woman’ with the word ‘balls’ intentionally struck-off. Now the question arises whether this movie lives up to its much created hype. Let’s explore Lipstick Under My Burkha further. 

Lipstick Under My Burkha Box Office Collection report


Lipstick Under My Burkha revolves around the lives of ‘Hawai Manzil’ residents in Bhopal. It unfolds the story of four women of different ages, who are held captive by the society’s patriarchal norms. While the world around demands them to fit into the conformations but the maverick inside them leads them to a path of rebel. They’ve spent half of their lives trying to justify the definition of a good woman but not anymore. They want to explore the woman inside them who wishes to be wanted, loved and respected. Will they be able to get the place in society they wish for? 


The movie starts with a striking note that the commentator (none other than Ratna Pathak herself) narrates the plight of Rosie; a woman who’s willing to explore the hidden sexual fantasies of her adolescent body. She’s a woman who is shackled partly by society and partly by her own fantasies of a perfect man. She’s seeking true love in every man she sees. She believes that one day a knight in shining armour will come for her redemption. Audience contemplates who among the four is the Rosie?  And above that, who will be the messiah for these women? As the story unfolds, the answer stands staring right back to our faces. 

Rehana’s (Plabita Borthakur) character is the one which every young woman would relate to. The beautiful woman is at the threshold of her adolescence and wants to explore the world freely like every woman of her age does. Aahana Kumra, on the other hand, is a salon worker who’s working day and night to buy a house for her widowed mother. Amid her struggle for life, she falls in love with a struggling photographer and has a number of sexual encounters with him as well. Ratna Pathak plays a role of a 55-year-old widowed landlady who still has a desire of being loved alive in her. Konkana Sen is the woman which is found at every nook and corner of a city; a subdued housewife who’s only subject of sexual subjugation for her archetypical husband. Alankrita Shrivastava nails at the very beginning of the movie when Ratna Pathak says, “Andhere Ki Aadat Ho Jati Hai Hume’, while indicating the plight of every woman who accepts the societal chains as her ornaments.  Lipstick Under My Burkha has something to offer for women of every age group. 

If you’re looking for a Bollywood fairytale, then Lipstick Under My Burkha promises you nothing but web spun out of brutal realities of the world around us. It’s far away from idealism. Alankrita Shrivastava calls a spade a spade in this seemingly too ladylike movie. It has nothing that, for even a second, drifts away from reality. This single factor will attract an audience seeking substance in a Bollywood movie while repel those who’re still stuck in the happy endings and love-laced Bollywood numbers. 

One thing that deserves to be pointed out in Lipstick Under My Burkha is, it gives a picture of ‘marital rape’ without fiddling with the sensitivity of the issue. Konkana Sen Sharma or Shireen in the movie, is subjected to marital rape on almost every night of her life. This proves that marital rape does exist and it is as traumatic as any sexual assault can be. Sex is a beautiful act between two souls, but Shireen’s husband finds it as only a medium to satiate his own sexual needs. During one scene of the movie, Aahana Kumra or Leela question her, whether he has touched her down there, with love. That very scene might end up giving a lump in throat to many. It also raises questions about the taboo associated with contraception. Shireen’s husband refuses to use condom which leads to her multiple pregnancies, abortions and medical complications. 

Usha’s character gives us a jolt to reality that women are not mere pieces of meat. And sexual desires don’t come with an expiry date. While the society never bats an eye over a 55-year-old man remarrying to a woman of half his age, they’ll not hesitate once to ostracize a woman of same age who indulges in a sexual conversation with a stranger. 

The climax scene will give you mild rush as the threads of these four stories starts to entwine with each other. It’s a Diwali night and the background score of firecrackers has been used metaphorically by the makers. As the city of Bhopal celebrates Diwali, the lives of these four women take an unprepared turn. The question 'who is the knight in shining armour for these women?' answers itself. They were seeking happiness in men, while the key to their salvation was kept in their own packets.

Conclusively, the ‘movie that didn’t want you to see’ is a must watch for every person who seeks substance in Indian cinema. After watching the movie, it’ll leave behind a question since when did anything about women became so scandalous to be shown on TV. Funnily enough, you’ll find everything in the movie except scandals!