PAD MAN has gained a lot of media publicity in the past few months for its story and concept which is why when it released today, most theatres were houseful and people had to book seats a week before to ensure the first-weekend show. So what makes this Akshay Kumar starrer interesting?
The story is inspired by the life of Arunachalam Murugunantham and revolves around Lakshmikant Chauhan (PAD MAN played by Akshay Kumar) who invented a low-cost sanitary napkin producing machine. Lakshmikant lives in Maheshwar and tries to urge his wife Gayatri to switch from a dirty cloth to a sanitary napkin. However, Gayatri is reluctant as pads are expensive and is embarrassed to discuss her woman troubles with her significant other but Lakshmikant remains adamant about the importance of menstrual hygiene and tries to give more exposure to this tabooed subject. He then faces hostility and abuse by other villagers who are dead set in their old way.
The first half of the movie includes a few trademark Akshay Kumar jokes which create a light mood but the constant humiliation and berating of Lakshmikant leave us both sad and frustrated. Clearly, the guy is trying to help out all women but instead of being applauded for his efforts, he is looked down upon and is constantly shamed for his noble attempts which is truly heartbreaking. The film takes a drastic turn in the second half as Sonam Kapoor swoops in to save the day and gives another chance to the Desi PAD MAN.
The second half of the movie is more optimistic and we finally see Lakshmikant making some progress in his noble endeavor but he still struggles and Pari (Sonam Kapoor) gladly helps him throughout his journey. Honestly, they made a great duo as friends and there was actually no need to make Pari fall in love with Lakshmikant but well, it’s Bollywood after all.
We absolutely loved Akshay Kumar’s acting in this movie as he struggles to bring about a change so that women stay safe and healthy. Although we can see Radhika Apte mostly in the first part of the movie, she did a truly commendable job and really brought the feelings of a small village woman who is scared of going against the age-old traditions of mensuration. We didn’t see a lot of songs and foolish dancing which was another plus for the movie and although the monologue at the United Nations Conference was a little bit too long, the entire movie is nicely directed and is certainly entertaining and informing at the same time.
We would easily say that PAD MAN is a must-watch movie for every child, man, and woman and is truly a social eye-opener. We certainly need more superheroes like PAD MAN and we hope that someday Arunachalam’s vision of every woman using sanitary napkins is fulfilled in the near future.