What is wrong with “Lipstick Under My Burkha”?

I’ve thought several times before writing this blogpost. The topic is sensitive as it involves criticism about a movie that talks about women freedom (at least it claims to).

Like every other Indian movie buff, I was excited when I heard the news about the release of Lipstick under my burkha.


The trailer…the news about CBFC trying to ban it…and the release of 27 cuts made by the censor board took the hype to the whole new level.

But, did the movie live upto the expectation?


Lipstick under my Burkha (let’s call it LUMB for the rest of the blogpost) revolves around the lives of four women who live in the same apartment complex. Each have different dreams, desires, and fantasies and they’re too far from reaching them. The idea of the movie is to show the hard hitting reality of how women’s dreams are crushed by the society that surrounds them. When looked at a high level, this is an amazing plot. But, the way it was written and the way it was made, fails to impress the audience.



The first thing that strikes you after watching the movie is, none of the characters in the movie create an impact in you. I wasn’t able to connect with any of the characters. When you look at K Balachander’s movies, woman characters are strong and you will be able to connect. In recent times, Tapsee Pannu’s characterisation in “Pink” is a good example. The scenes of the movie slowly adds weight to her character and when speaks in the court during the last few minutes, you are able to connect with her feelings. But, LUMB, in spite of having four such characters, wasn’t able to create that emotional connect with the audience.

The second thing is there were unnecessary sex and smoking scenes. I mean, out of four characters two characters were portrayed in such a way that all they think about is sex. And, they all at, one point smoke or drink, or do both. (If you ask “Guys are smoking! Why can’t girls?!” Smoking, be it done by a guy or girl, is unnecessary.) When a movie claims to talk about womens’ freedom or at least others claim so, portraying characters that always think about sex, going to parties, boozing, etc. may send a wrong message. Konkona sen sharma’s character is the only good character in the movie which again fails to create an emotional connect.

The young girl who wants to be the next Miley Cyrus goes shop lifting so as to look posh and be part of the college group/band or whatever. And, when her dad scolds her, she becomes sad (awwww!) Now, the movie shows the mom and dad as the villain. Utter Stupidity. Can’t she be friends with people who accept her for who she is? Can’t she move with normal people?

I mean, she could upload her songs in youtube from her room and be famous. That would’ve been inspiring. Instead she so badly want to fit into a band where none of the other girls sing and the drummer always smokes (and finally ends up making out with this new girl. Oh My!)

Last but not the least, all men characters were shown as angry and stupid. Is that the reality? I don’t think so. Why can’t a male character be normal? I guess it is a norm in Indian cinema that when a girl loves a guy, and the parents choose another groom for her, he will always be shy and dumb. Why? How else can you justify pure love?!

And, in the final scene, they all will put lipstick which is shown as a montage. (Ha ha!!)

I can go on and on about the movie. The more I think, the more flaws I could find.

According to me, Lipstick Under My Burkha had a great story, but had messed it up big time due to poor characterisation and overuse of sex.

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