After facing a battle with the censor board, Lipstick Under My Burkha has finally hit the screens. The film, perhaps the most controversial one made this year, was initially denied certification for being too “lady-oriented”.
According to Alankrita Shrivastava, the director, working on a taboo topic was eventful. “The idea of women having as much liberty to enjoy love, sex and romance as a man does was something I wanted to explore. I thought why not explore it from the various angles where women are subjected to restrictions. And, that’s how I thought of these four characters. As they emerged, the story started taking a beautiful shape,” she says.
Talking about the title of the movie, she says, “It’s a metaphoric title, which refers to the idea of secret dreams and veiled ambitions. And the fact that women will have a pulsating desire to be what they want to be, even though society tries to bind them and their dreams.”
The movie revolves around how four women — Rihana (Plabita Borth-akur), Leela (Aahana Kumra), Shireen (Konkona Sen) and Usha (Ratna Pathak) — explore their sex lives. Ask Alankrita if the actors were apprehensive and she says, “Not at all. Not only are they phenomenal, but also very brave actors. I am sure they must have had their own challenges in order to play their part. We also had very intense workshops, reading and discussions, and all that helped.”
Although there are many women-centric movies being made in the country, the harsh reality is that most of them fail to perform at the box office. “I feel we are very far from any sort of gender equality. It’s not just India, but other countries too. There are thousands of male-centric movies that are made and end up getting not only recognition, but also money. But I have to agree people are now more open to a women-centric movie,” she adds....