A strong wave of feminism can currently be felt in our society. Though the masses are coming forward in full support, there are people who deny it’s need. They argue about women already having equal rights, strange, isn’t it?

Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha is the story of four different women and their struggles that clearly define the need for feminism. When I was asked to review this film, I entered the screening without any prior knowledge. However, the first scene with Plabita Borthakur trying on cosmetics with a voice-over by Ratna Pathak gave me a clear idea about what I was in for.

Beginning with the surface, the performance of all the four lead characters was strong and the screenplay allowed their characters to be well established. The supporting cast also did a pretty good job. Background sound is used extensively. However, it needs a critic’s attention to know that it is there. Like most of the crew, the editor has done a very good job of keeping the audience hooked. The production design team has made sure that the setting convinces you of the contemporary society portrayed in the film.

Coming to the most impressive part; the screenplay. The narrative flows smoothly with parts that are strong enough to get viewers on the edge of their seats. It criticizes social evils such as domestic violence and inequality while touching taboos such as sexual desires of elderly women and the criticism that it attracts. Amazingly, it does all this while maintaining a positive aura around all these characters.

The film has an open ending with the problems of all four characters at their peak. Strangely enough, we can still sense hope among these women. The director passed a very clear message that the more we repress women, the stronger they will return. A good film is one which asks questions. As this film ends, you are sure to step out of the auditorium asking yourself, are women really free in this independent society?

-Deep Ruparelia