Jio MAMI 2016: 'My life is in my film Lipstick Under My Burkha,' says Alankrita Shrivastava
Director Alankrita Shrivastava's film Lipstick Under My Burkha is slated to be showcased at the Jio Mami 18th Mumbai Film Festival on 26 October and we engaged in a chat with her to find out more about this anticipatory film.
Lipstick Under My Burkha is the second film for the 36-year-old director, who has previously helmed the Gul Panag-starrer Turning 30!!!
The film, starring veteran actors like Konkana Sen Sharma and Ratna Pathak Shah, is set in the bylanes of small town India and chronicles the secret lives of four women, in search of a little freedom. The film takes the audience on a journey about the trials, tribulations and the small-town dreams of these four women.
As is evident from the trailer, the film explores the theme of freedom. The burkha stands as a metaphor for the barriers built around these women. Alankrita explores what it feels like to live under this metaphorical burkha. She says, "I am always preoccupied with the feeling that I am not completely free. I feel like something is holding me back. Just because I am externally free, doesn't mean I am internally free. So I wanted to explain that concept. The whole thing was playing a conspiracy on my mind. So I made these four characters and I think all of them are a part of me."
The four characters are: a college student played by Plabita Borthakur, a young business owner played by Aahana Kumra, a married woman played by Konkana Sen Sharma, and an old widow reasserting her sexuality played by Ratna Pathak Shah.
The four share a bond which allows them to shed the metaphorical burkha and share a cigarette, talking about life, men and sex.
Bollywood's special journey of exploring women-centric stories is an ongoing trend with films like Parched, Pink, Angry Indian Godesses, Neerja, Dangal, etc. But Alankrita feels differently. She feels that the number of women-centric films is still too low and this concept should be normalised for the audiences. She says, "It is great that there is a euphoria for the recent films which are female-centric. But if we put things into perspective, there aren't enough films on women. Any time is a good time for a film with women considering there aren't many. It is shocking that we are rejoicing over a few films. There are three films about women and 23,000 film on men. We need to up the game."
The trailer of the film itself has made waves among film enthusiasts. With more than one million hits, the film is bound to attract a varied audience to the theatre. The film also has been travelling a lot. After the world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival, the film will return to India for the Jio Mami 2016 festival and will get its European premiere at the prestigious Stockholm International Film Festival in November.
The film is produced by Prakash Jha, known for films like Gangaajal, Rajneeti, Satyagraha. Alankrita, who has assisted on various films, says, "This film would not exist without Prakash Jha. It takes a lot of vision and courage to make a film like this. The film would not be made without him."
Alankrita, who has been on associated with films since 2003,feels she doesn't have to send out a message with this one. She says, "I want people to take this journey along with the four characters. Feel their happiness, feel their joy. I want the audience to connect to these characters."
The film has been very challenging for the 36-year-old who wishes movie-goers enjoy the film, "Everything about the film was very challenging — getting to the shoot, getting the script going, etc. I feel I have gone through a lot to make this film. My life is in the film."
We are excited to catch this film at the Mami festival, you shouldn't miss it either!
Watch the full trailer here: