Padman is the biographical comedy-drama film written and directed by R. Balki, who is known for his apt and unusual storylines in the films and it’s brilliant execution. The film is based on Twinkle Khanna’s (Mrs. Funny Bones) short story ‘The Sanitary Man of Sacred Land’, which is inspired by the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham from Tamil Nadu who introduced low-cost sanitary pads.
The film starts with Lakshmikant (Akshay Kumar), a good family man, getting married to Gayatri (Radhika Apte). Not so far in the film, first time Lakshmi feels the intensity of superstitions in India surrounding menstrual hygiene and usage of sanitary pads when it happens with his own wife Gayatri. Being obsessed with his caring nature towards his wife Lakshmi tries every way to make her use the sanitary pads, but after some failed attempts to use those Gayatri being trapped in the age-old rituals and superstitions refuses to do so. The obsession of Lakshmi for health and wellness of Gayatri grows so much that it costs him hatred from all parts of society, which eventually separates both of them, and unfortunately, he decides to leave his village to shape his vision. In his journey, he gets help from Rhea (Sonam Kapoor), a kind-hearted MBA student. Rest of the film depicts the extraordinary story of determined Lakshmi who stands against all odds and even after so many obstacles revolutionize the concept of menstrual hygiene in rural India by creating a low-cost sanitary napkin machine.
It is the public awareness film and inspiring story of an ordinary man, and how he achieves remarkable success with his sheer will and determination. After Toilet – Ek Prem Katha (2017) Akshay Kumar has come back with one more strong film with an, even more, stronger message. The film is a tight slap on the age-old rituals and superstition around the usage of sanitary napkins in rural India. The performances by Radhika and Sonam are fabulous, and Akshay is just phenomenal. Thanks to Mrs funny bones for bringing such an impacting and daring topic on the table. As a director, R Balki has played his role very well and made the film compelling enough to keep the audience invested until the end. At some places, the film slows down a bit, but the powerful content at films’ core keeps it refreshed.
Verdict : A must watch and probably the best film of the year so far.