Lipstick Under My Burkha comes across as another film on women empowerment, but it is not so. It depicts the power women already have which the society fails to recognize or pretends does not exist.
The film tells the story of 4 women all of whom have to deal with regular, on-your-face patriarchal and societal impositions on the outset, but live secret lives with their own desires, wants and needs. These women are of different age groups. We have Buaji (Ratna Pathak Shah) who is a widow and has become so engrossed in homely and societal duties that she fails to find what she really wants. The second woman we see is Shireen (Konkona Sen Sharma) whose spirits find no outlet in the face of her chauvinistic husband. Then we have Leela (Aahana) who knows that a city like Bhopal will not be able to let her live the way she wants. And then we meet Rihanna (Plabita) who is being forced by her parents to stitch burkhas but she secretly grooves to Led Zeppelin and Miley Cyrus.
All these 4 women are leading dual lives, one in accordance with the society and its norms and the other what they really are. Now they are used to living their lives this way but sooner rather than later, it catches up to them making them struggle to keep both intact. None of them could liberate themselves completely from the shackles they are caged in. Yet they keep going.
The film aptly justifies how nothing is scandalous about the lives these women are leading. They are just looking for outlets to not let their societal status define their dreams, aspirations or lifestyle.