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New Lipstick Under My Burkha trailer hits back at CBFC

Director Alankrita Shrivastava pushes the envelope with the brash new trailer, mocking each excuse the CBFC had given for initially rejecting the film.

Mayur Lookhar

The date 27 June 2017 will not be forgotten in a hurry by the mandarins at the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), popularly known as the censor board. This was the day when the makers of the feminist drama Lipstick Under My Burkha released a new trailer that not only pushed the envelope but mocked each and every reservation expressed by the CBFC while denying the film a certificate earlier this year.

'The story is lady-oriented, their fantasy above life. There are contentious sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive about one particular section of society,' the board had written in its letter to producer Prakash Jha in January while refusing to certify the film.

Shrivastava has used the same criticism to create a new trailer. It begins with the widespread media coverage that the film received when it was banned by the Pahlaj Nihalani-led CBFC. The director hasn’t hesitated in calling it the most controversial film of the year.

Then comes the attack: ‘They called it a woman’s fantasy above life’. ‘It has contagious sexual scenes, they called it lady-oriented’. Each of these texts is followed by intimate or daring visuals. And just when you think the attack has ended, you read the line, ‘The film they didn’t want you to see.' No prizes for guessing who 'they' refers to.

We then see Plabita Borthakur’s character leading an agitation and moaning, “Don’t put on lipstick, you’ll have an affair. Don’t wear jeans, there will be a scandal. I want to ask the authorities — what exactly will happen? Why does our freedom scare you so?"

Lipstick Under My Burkha poster not aimed at CBFC: Producer Ekta Kapoor

While the word 'authorities' points to the CBFC again, it could also be taken to mean the likes of Mumbai politician Abu Asim Azmi who has in the past blamed Western culture and attire for the growing number of rape cases.

While Shrivastava has mocked the CBFC and ossified minds with her new trailer, it appears a lot more bold and brash than the first trailer that was launched on 14 October last year. One must applaud the director and the producers for having had the courage to not only make such a film, but also to send a strong message across to its detractors.

The real test, however, lies ahead, when the film is released on 21 July. That is when we will know who has the last laugh. Meanwhile, watch the new trailer of Lipstick Under My Burkha: