'Shab', 'Lipstick Under My Burkha': Why do we refuse progression and concede to conformists? | Bollywood Bubble

‘Shab’, ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’: Why do we refuse progression and concede to conformists?

‘Shab’, ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’: Why do we refuse progression and concede to conformists?

Shab Lipstick Under My Burkha

Throughout my teenage and college days, I remember watching Hindi films with astonishment and a strong sense of humiliation. Exceptions were few. “Tu ladki ke peeche bhagega, ladki paise ke peeche bhagegi. Tu paise ke peeche bhagega, ladki tere peeche bhagegi”, a certain character of Prabhudheva’s ‘Wanted’ had boasted. Even a 17-year-old brain could feel the ignominy, the disgrace. With time, I, rather we, have grown more dishonoured. But what hurts me the more is how we have comfortably set rules for a film to qualify as a mass or family entertainer, and the discourteous values are given a clean chit. What’s more worse? With time, we’ve got less open to progressive content.

Depiction of women in films is a subject done and dusted. The issue is rooted deeper. What you do is a reflection of what you believe, and a regressive outlook is likely to overpower all spheres of your thoughts.

Young filmmaker Alankrita Shrivastava, to much of our delight, recently took up a battle with the Central Board of Film Certification of India, or should we say the self-proclaimed censor board? Alankrita’s film ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ deals with four women, their fantasies and also the battles they’re make-doing with. As much as the film pleased many of us, I was in for quite a lot of expectations inside the theatre.

At a suburban multiplex of Mumbai, the special show consisted of what you call an educated, urban audience. But the sly smiles when Aahana Kumra, on screen, was savouring an intense penetration, were too loud to be ignored or overheard. When Ratna Pathak Shah shivered in an uncontrollable desire, I saw someone chuckling, ‘ iss umar mein’?  Konkona Sensharma, every night, rests herself on the bed while her husband rips her vagina with a savage show-off of his manliness and authority over his wife. Marital rape struck no head, but the open display of sex caused many to giggle.

Almost every Bollywood film has got an unrepresentative representation of bravery by its (male) protagonist. And so is the case when it comes to men lusting women. She sways her waist and he ogles. She bites her lips, his tongue is almost moist as he covets her. You’d argue, the woman wasn’t forced to get there. I’d argue, why never get a man there? The uncomfortable answer is, women’s sexual urge and fantasies always remained unwelcome, in a way. Hence, when I finally stop shilly-shallying and start showing off what I crave for, you are bewildered. Or worse, you’re unrightfully offended.

Not long back, CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani wore his bizarre self once more and issued an instruction that influential superheroes shouldn’t be shown smoking or drinking on screen as they could send out wrong messages. It is ridiculous as to how PEOPLE never learnt from those heroes how to rescue a woman in danger and how to help when a building catches fire; but funnily enough, might learn to drink and smoke.

Onir, who is fearlessly expressive with both his own sexuality and his own films, recently made ‘Shab’, a small-town guy’s journey towards fame and how life shatters him in the process. It contained plenty of crisis, to the lead character’s dismay. I remember Ashish Bisht standing in the balcony in an undergarment in one of the sequences, and someone whispered, “Onir is a gay after all; he has to show ‘that thing’ of a man’!

Before we ever crib about Indian films not being substantial enough, we need to recheck how receptive are we towards them, and how sensitive are we towards content that might put our perceptions through an acid test. I was recently in ‘Mubarakan’, a ‘family entertainer’, as everyone has been putting it across. Anees Bazmee, true to his visions, does not include any skin show or sensation since he believes his films are watched by families. While families are (arguably) not okay with experiencing kisses and more, they’re comfortable enjoying characters that are short on opinions. Nobody takes offence on a female character being delightfully obedient to her elders. But when you put her across as a puppet to other people’s will, do I not have a right to take offence?

What majorly goes wrong is how regressive approaches make space to family entertainers, natural intimacy doesn’t. Consciously and unconsciously, we are passing on wrong messages through cinema; a medium that moulds millions of minds in our country. On the other hand, while we head towards a desperate need of rational discussions on relationships, physical intimacy, flesh business and much more (because they all are as real as we are), we tend to eliminate and alienate every such discussion from our films. We are letting down our Alankritas and how!

Think, or pick a cookie and ignore! 🙂

Watch the full movie ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ here

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Dear Priyanka, it’s high time you starred in a Bollywood Film…

Dear Priyanka,

January 25, 2018, I went to a theatre to watch Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmaavat’. It was a first day, first show. I was keen to see what the director had to offer, after ‘Bajirao Mastani’.

Well, I was quite impressed with ‘Padmaavat’ thanks to the spectacular vision of SLB. Even the actors left a mark. While Ranveer Singh’s Khilji act was outstanding, Deepika Padukone looked stunning as Rani Padmavati and Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh impressed us. However, I felt there was something missing in the film, an ‘X – Factor’ that was there in ‘Bajirao Mastani’, but not in ‘Padmaavat’. I couldn’t put things together as what was that one thing missing in ‘Padmaavat’.

Image Source - Instagram @deepikapadukone

Finally, after wracking my brains and heart for a few days, a box office comparison article on ‘Padmaavat’ VS ‘Bajirao Mastani’ finally gave me the answer I was looking for. It was you, Priyanka Chopra. The ‘X-factor’ in ‘Bajirao Mastani’ was missing from the magnum opus and now a Rs 250 crore plus profitable film ‘Padmaavat’. The subtle yet a powerful performance that you gave in ‘Bajirao Mastani’.

Image Source - Pinterest

I then literally went and checked out other dialogue promos of ‘Bajirao Mastani’ that featured you, and understood that not just ‘Padmaavat’, an ‘X – Factor’ from Bollywood has been missing. Bollywood is missing Priyanka Chopra, who is not just a pretty face, but a performer who can make us sit back and notice her.

Your last Bollywood movie was a 2016 release ‘Jai Gangaajal’. Though you were excellent in the film, your ‘Bajirao Mastani’ performance overpowers every other last release of yours.

Image Source - Instagram @priyankachopra

There’s no doubt that Priyanka, you are making India proud internationally with the ‘Quantico’ series and three Hollywood films in your kitty, but Bollywood needs you too. Its been more than two years, that your fans are waiting for you to announce your next Bollywood film. We have heard a lot about the films you might take up, SLB’s ‘Gustakhiyan’, Kalpana Chawla biopic, Rakesh Sharma biopic and ‘Fanney Khan’. However, till date, none have been announced as your next Bollywood project.

Image Source - Pinterest

Priyanka, it’s definitely high time that you come back to Bollywood, not just for your fans but for Bollywood. I am not saying that Bollywood can’t work without Priyanka and movies won’t be made. But, then the silver screen is missing a performer like you.

After all, as your songs goes, “Dekhi lakh lakh pardesi girl, Ain’t nobody like my DESI GIRL.”

A guy who misses you on big screen

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Alia's 'hike' affair, Ranbir's 'Dilli Wali Girlfriend' and endless rebound reports. Justified?

It has been confirmed that one of Bollywood’s cutest couples, Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra have parted ways. Breakups are always hard, be it a celeb or a commoner; but looks like it is harder for stars as rumours always find a way to rub salt into their wounds.

Image Source - Instagram

Just few days back, Alia was being linked to her ‘Brahmastra’ co-star Ranbir Kapoor, over a comment made by Manish Malhotra on Neha Dhupia‘s Vogue BFFs, and now, according to some reports, Alia is getting close to Hike messenger founder Kavin Mittal. And the base for these reports seem as baseless as the reports that were going rounds regarding Ranbir’s affiliation with a Delhi-based girl, if you remember. (Also Check: Watch: Alia Bhatt spotted with her friend at Pali Village café)

Image Source - Yogen Shah

Alia and Kavin met at the World Economic Forum in 2017, and since then have been good friends. In fact, even the sources of such reports have confirmed just the friendship, but have gone on to add that friendship can evolve into something else, you never know.

Sometimes, it's nice just to do nothing #kashmir #roadtrip

A post shared by Kavin Bharti Mittal (@kbm) on

Well, that’s just a very absurd prediction to make. What a relationship evolves into or not, is something totally based on probabilities and circumstances. And unless there is any incident to prove that something is brewing between two people, how can anyone go on to speculate that two people are dating, or even can date. Can they just not be friends?

This does take us back to the time when Ranbir Kapoor had broken up with Katrina Kaif, and soon after, reports of him dating a Delhi-based girl has surfaced. Of course, those were busted soon after, when it came to foray that she was just a fan who requested for a selfie. Unnecessary negative publicity for both of them.

Image Source - Ethos Watches
Image Source - Instagram

Makes one wonder, as to where does the fine line between truth and speculation blur, so as to give birth to blatant lies. They say there is no fire without spark, but what’s the status of statements that have been created out of thin air, pushed out of context, with feelings and logics thrown out of the window? Something to ponder about.

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