Over the weekend, I finally watched Lipstick Under My Burkha. I walked out thinking ‘ Wow, that was …well, real’. And I have been saying that to anyone who will listen which is all of two people and one of them is the husband so it’s really not listening. Then I read this article by The Wire and I really had to write this out. The great thing about, the best thing about LUMB is that it is feminist in a way that doesn’t involving burning our bras and in turn increasing Zivame’s business. The author does say it’s empowering, which it is, but it is also endearing and relatable.
To Alankrita’s credit, she doesn’t want her characters to pick battles and fight wars. They aren’t she-heroes. They are regular women living their lives and in their small way, gaining confidence to toe the line, albeit just a little bit. While I am all for Vidya Balan indulging in some heavy duty shooting at the end of Kahaani, I don’t think every movie needs that. By expecting rebellion or demanding it from LUMB (Lipstick Under My Burkha), we take away every nuance of storytelling away from it. The beauty of this movie is the fact that it’s a slice of life, served to you without the garnishing of preachy dialogue delivery or any sort of embellishment of social message. I imagine if you are to take a peek into the numerous households that make a community in our country, you will spot Leela or Shireen quietly going about their lives.
LUMB (Lipstick Under My Burkha) is feminist in some very subtle ways. Usha (Ratna Pathak’s character) is shown as a woman making all the decisions for the household, Leela enjoys sex without apology (rare), Rehana finds her rebellion in her music and Shireen goes ahead and takes up a job that she knows will anger her husband. That these women do not make screaming, loud exhibition of their feminism doesn’t mean it doesn’t count.
What I loved about LUMB is that it simply is, what it is. And that deserves to be watched.
Image from Scroll.in