Lipstick Under My Burkha “LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA” is bold and relevant! Immaculately cast and exceptionally performed, this women empowerment drama produced by Prakash Jha, is a rare combination of top content and high entertainment value. Consistently hitting the right notes, the film touches upon extremely sensitive topics in the most fun, engaging way, delivering two hours of pertinent cinema which just cannot be missed. If you’re an adult, go for it! Set in the crowded lanes of Bhopal, LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA chronicles the secret lives of four women in search of a little freedom. A burkha-clad college girl struggles with issues of cultural identity and her aspirations to be 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. And a 55-year-old widow rediscovers her sexuality through a phone romance. Trapped in their worlds, they claim their desires through secret acts of rebellion. The subtlety in narration forms the key in this highly layered drama. Without ever being preachy, the film relies on realistic metaphors to drive its message. For most of its two-hour runtime, the film feels extremely real. The characters are relatable, and so are their conflicts. The highlight though is the ample dose of humour seamlessly woven into the screenplay, which is rarely expected of a subject so sensitively charged, making it all the more absorbing. Writer/director Alankrita Shrivastava alongwith co-writer Suhani Kanwar, take no half-measures in presenting their point. The scenes are bold, the dialogues are fearless and the overall intent of the film is quite brave. The only flaw, I feel, is that the men in the story are stereotyped, to make the case stronger for its women protagonists. That apart, the film feels unfeigned and its plot, uninhibited. The performances are extraordinary, especially of the primary four women characters. Konkona Sen Sharma is expectedly superb. The ease with which she brings to life her complex character is mind-blowing. Also amazing is the veteran Ratna Pathak Shah. Her bold portrayal of an old widow with sexual desires, deserves acclaims of the highest order. Ahana Kumra is a revelation here. Her unrestrained act is powerful and consistently riveting. Plabita Borthakur also delivers a moving performance in the most poised manner possible. The supporting cast does a swell job, without the obvious melodrama. In all, “LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA” is meaningful yet fun. Highly recommended for all adults!