katrinaolson.ca - Lipstick Under My Burkha (Calgary Film 2017)

Posted on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 07:00 PM

Lipstick Under My Burkha (Calgary Film 2017)

Review by Katrina Olson-Mottahed x CalgaryMovies.com

A KO Review by Emily Mody

Lipstick Under My Burkha is an Indian feature length narrative film directed by Alankrita Shrivastava. The film follows four generations of women who live in a small community in India. All the women long for freedom in various ways and struggle to come to terms with the restrictions that their community and loved ones have imposed on them. This film presents a very feminist and progressive perspective without sacrificing the humanity and sincerity of the characters lives. The film is narrated through a romance novel that one of characters is reading entitled Lipstick Dreams. The narration presents an interesting dichotomy between the real life the women are forced to lead and fantasy they wish to obtain.

I really enjoyed Lipstick Under My Burkha. I feel as though sometimes films about Muslim women can come off a bit self-serving or morally righteous but this film did not have any of those qualms. There was such an honesty and sincerity to the way the women were portrayed. Everything the characters were experiencing was so relatable and real. This film makes you want to laugh, cry, sigh, and scream. It was such an engaging and beautiful story. Expression of female sexuality is a very important aspect of this film. Sex was overt and blatant throughout the entirety of the story, which was a surprise and such a refreshing thing to see.

Lipstick Under My Burkha is comparable to The Lunchbox directed by Ritesh Batra. The Lunchbox is an Indian feature length film, which follows a story of a man and woman who are connected by a mistaken lunchbox delivery. Both films have similar tones in terms of the sincerity of the portrayal of the characters. I suppose the main differences between these films would probably stem from their overall feel. The Lunchbox is a sweet and romantic story, which I feel is very characteristic of commercial Indian cinema. Lipstick Under My Burkha felt much more gritty. I felt that Shrivastava focused more on the importance of conveying emotion regardless of whether or not that emotion is typically considered beautiful or desirable. The honesty of telling a story about desire, trust, loyalty, and love is what mattered to the director.

I would recommend Lipstick Under My Burkha to anyone who enjoys social problem films, films about feminism, or even films about the joys and dangers of allowing your dreams to take hold. This film contains explicit sexual content, sensuality, language, and indirect nudity. It may also be important for you to note that the characters in this film mainly speak Hindi and subtitles are necessary for foreign viewers.

Lipstick Under My Burkha will be screening as a part of the 18th Calgary International Film Festival 2017. It will be playing on Friday, September 22nd at 6:30pm and Saturday, September 30th at 12:15pm both at Cineplex Eau Claire.

Calgary Showtimes: Lipstick Under My Burkha >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.