The censor board of India, Central Board of Film Certification, tried to demolish the efforts of Alankrita Shrivastava – the director of Lipstick Under My Burkha – by claiming the film was too ‘lady-oriented’. We find the society a bit too male oriented; is that reason enough to wish to demolish it? Well, before 50% of India’s population could vocalize the threat, the film was approved by the censor board under the adult rating.
Lipstick Under My Burkha will release in theatres across India this Friday, 21st June. People in Pakistan can resort to their usual means to watch the controversial female-oriented film.
The Indian film had been with the censor board for the past five months and couldn’t get a go-ahead signal because reportedly the film contains an abundance of “sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography (phone sex)”.
Oh, and that’s completely new to the Indian cinema. Shahid Kapoor’s film, Kaminey, descended upon the cinema screens directly from hell, didn’t it? You can title your film an abusive word but you absolutely cannot use abusive words in it. That makes so much sense.
The real reason, however, behind the reluctance to let the film release was because it showed women exploring their sexuality behind the closed doors. More specifically, out of the four female protagonists, one is Muslim, and the censor board thought this specific portrayal could upset a “certain segment of society”. That certain segment of society doesn’t get upset when most of the Dons and terrorists in Indian films are implied to be Muslims. That, simply is the truth, but a woman dancing to let her frustration out isn’t true enough.
Now that the film has won the censor battle and Shrivastava, the directed, couldn’t be more happier.
““I feel that the release is not just about Lipstick but is also a victory and celebration that women can tell their stories,” she told AFP. ““It’s not just about my film and our cast and crew. If it had not released (then) that would have set a precedent that it’s okay to gag 50 percent of the population.”
Lipstick Under My Burkha revolves around the characters played by Plabita, Aahana, Konkona Sen Sharma, and Ratna Patak. According to the reviewers, wh have seen the film in film festivals, “Plabita and Aahana are instantly relatable and light up the screen. Konkona’s helplessness makes you think about every woman who is a second-class citizen in her own home. And Ratna’s infatuated Usha, a woman in the throes of passion, will make you look at older women in a new light.”
That sounds like something we’d love to watch. Our weekend plans are clearly sorted!
If you haven’t seen the trailer, here, have a look: