It’s been 45 mins since I am back from the theatre after watching the much awaited Akshay Kumar starrer movie, PADMAN and I am amazed by the brilliance executed by both Mr. Balki and the actors of Padman. The movie revolves around the real-life inspiring story of Mr.Arunachalam Muruganantham and how he struggles, falls but never quits. What Steve Jobs had once said proved true for this gentleman, ‘Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world usually do.’ Yes, he was crazy, crazy in love with his wife and it was his wife’s menstrual hygiene and the unaffordability of the high-cost sanitary napkins that triggered him the idea of inventing low-cost pads.
Despite the humiliation, massive opposition, ostracization from his village and separation from his beloved wife, Padman never stopped. Leaving no stones unturned, he ran from pillar to post to make pads which were both effective and low cost. He tried to convince his wife to try his handmade pads but they always proved a failure. That would set him forth to try new ways to improve the pad. But that trial happened once every month given the periodic cycle of a woman. He needed more volunteers but given how awkward and embarrassed women felt whenever the topic of chumps came into play, he ultimately had to try to on him. (To find out what happens later, you got to watch the movie.)
Having said that, there are scenes in the movie which compels the audience to engage in thunderous rounds of applause. The first that comes to my mind is when Laksmi (Akshay’s character) gives his first “Hinglish” speech at the United Nations. The dialogue delivery, however, did remind me of Tom Hanks’ on-screen character, Viktor Navorski in The Terminal. He had a similar throw and speech pattern. Lakshmi’s emotional reaction to his first customer’s feedback was equally moving.
I thought the casting of the film couldn’t have been better. Akshay Kumar does everything the screen character demanded, even if that meant he had to wear a pink panty and ride a cycle to test the effectiveness of his handmade sanitary pad. Actors are willing to push the limits and social taboos for movies they believe in and Mr.Khiladi just proved with this role that he was willing to go the distance too. Radhika Apte, if you hadn’t seen her films before, you would have taken her to be an ordinary village woman. She was every bit convincing in her role. As for Sonam Kapoor, she made her presence felt by taking up her role as a true friend who helped Lakshmi through his trying times and took him closer to his dream.
Balki’s Padman works towards broadening one’s horizons towards such societal taboos. It is a must watch for the subject and sheer brilliance of the actors. Period!
Ritu is a dreamer and idea generator who is focused on social media content curation, creation and marketing. When she is not working, she loves to read, play jenga, travel and photograph. Off late she has been trying to perfect the art of making dosas but they always seem to get stuck to the pan. Luckily, life doesn’t get stuck in the same way often. Recently she moved to the Land of Kings, Rajasthan and lives there with her husband.