Lipstick Under My Burkha: Red Herrings For Women Liberty

| July 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

Of late,if ever there was much ado about nothing it is LUMB(Lipstick Under My Burkha),that got embroiled in controversy with CBFC aka censor board.

Inspite of getting free publicity due to controversy,LUMB is limp and you can lump it together with movies like Parched and many more that tried to show women’s liberation through their repressed sexuality.

Two unrelated thoughts:
Feminists,and gender equality activists protesting as to why champagne bottle does not go mom instead of pop!

Six schoolgirls from a town Herat in civil war ravaged Afghanistan win a silver medal in robotics.

And here we have women who are confined to their emancipation and empowerment by asserting and flaunting their sexuality and living out their sexual fantasies.

I thought that it’s only men whose world revolved around boobs and balls.

LUMB makes you think that under the veneer,shorn of all trappings of feudalism,patriarchy,domination, women’s world is no different.

And being liberal,reclaiming one’s freedom simply means just acceptance of externals.If it’s not a world of stitching clothes, waxing and doing bridal make ups, being a matriarch ,or even an aspiring sales girl, all dreams when reduced to bare minimum still revolve around men.

Either it’s to fantasize about them and their physicality, or craving for love from a horny husband,having a passionate affair though betrothed to some one else against parents choice,or desperate craving for simple acceptance by a peer group,it essentially has hang-over of men,written all over.

If confined walls of Bhopal,with regressive mindsets,claustrophobic atmosphere of its bylanes, by way of freedom to women,has to offer only release of pent-up carnal desires, then I am sorry to say, much is yet to be understood,unlearnt and abosrbed by way of gender equality and emancipation of women.

It’s an eye opener that in a city like Bhopal there are professional nude models for the budding artistes to paint and draw. Such portrayal is flimsy,fake and just for affect.

If a girls idea of being her own self and discovering her identity is just dancing in discos,downing tequila shots,smoking, then writer-director Alankrita Srivastva has a very narrow perception of the unfolding world.

Amongst the four parallel stories there is not a single one that holds and inspires you.

Usha aka Ratna pathak in her mid fifties is single,smart to handle her worldly affairs and responsibilities but addicted to erotica.

Shireen aka Konkana Sen Sharma in her thirties is a smart saleswoman who can sell refrigerator to Eskimos,but can’t say NO to her husband Shashank Singh’s insatiable libido,hence caught in a cycle of multiple pregnancies and abortions.

Leela aka Aahana Kumra in her twenties is a beautician who is having an affair with her associate Vikrant Massey,though she is engaged to be married somewhere else by her mother who herself works as a professional nude model for painters.

Then there is teenager Rihana aka Plabita Borthakur who wants to break free from her burkha clad existence and aspires to be a singer a la Miley Cyrus.Her mode of getting out of shackles of her rigid parenting is to shoplift,smoke,drink,pretend she is not a virgin,rip her jeans to express her right to freedom and live life on her own terms.

If girls’ and women’s dreams are confined to this in an era where girls are climbing Mount Everest,becoming fighter pilots,hitting sixes, without indulging in all that is supposed to express freedom (as shown in this movie), then I have my doubts about their redemption.

LUMB is a bhel puri of movie that has gone limp bcz of too much of chutney, lemon and lasciviousness.

Alankrita Srivastva has shown flashes of flair but her labour of lust and issues of sexuality falters due to highly skewed screenplay, shallow characterisations,saved only by performances by the ensemble cast, notably Konkana Sen Sharma and Plabita Borthakur.

Love is a four letter word.So is lust. In name of love, LUMB offers a side show of lust at its crudest with no aesthetic nuances.It gives you a feeling certain things are better left under wraps (may be under Burkha) if not presented with authenticity,sensitivity,finnesse and sense of closure.


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Category: Reviews

About the Author ()

Dhieraj Mohan is Hindi cinema’s keen observer. With earnest interest in its dynamics and constantly changing milieu he revels in dwelling on the discrepancies, idiosyncrasies,contradictions,masala and the formula that defines Bollywood.He is a poet and a screenwriter too,who simply adores Hindi cinema’s chameleon like traits.

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