Four women have secrets: a burkha-clad college girl dreams of becoming a pop singer; a young, two-timing beautician seeks to escape from her small town; a mother of three has another life as a saleswoman; a 55-year-old widow rediscovers her sexual desire through a phone romance. Lipstick Under My Burkha is Alankrita Shrivastava’s second feature, depicting women’s struggle for independence. Konkona Sen Sharma from Luck by Chance and others give convincing performances.
In rural India, a burkha-clad college girl struggles with issues of cultural identity and her aspirations to become a pop singer. A young two-timing beautician seeks to escape the claustrophobia of her small town. An oppressed housewife and mother of three lives the alternate life of an enterprising saleswoman. A 55-year-old widow rediscovers her sexuality through a phone romance. Caught in a conservative society, these women set forth to break the mold, in search of a little freedom.
I have never worn the burkha. I don’t live in a small town. No one has tried to curb my freedom. I come from a fairly liberal middle-class family and I live in a metropolitan city. Yet there is always something gnawing away within me. Some chains that seem to hold me back. I never feel totally free. Perhaps I am no different from that small town woman who is dreaming of freedom. Perhaps her secret acts of rebellion are mine too. And chains are chains, be they external or internal.