PadMan is the biographical story of a man who made female menstrual hygiene his motto in life and made a tremendous difference to the lives of millions of rural women.
This is a story of sheer grit and resilience. It awakens us, inspires us, overwhelms us and draws immense respect for the man, the real-life Padman, Arunachalam Muruganantham.
Watch the trailer here:
It must have been a daunting job, to not only pick up such a taboo and uncomfortable topic but also make an interesting movie out of it. And of course, hats off to the heart throb of millions, Akshay, to be brave enough to portray the character and the tough story so well.
The movie begins with the portrayal of Lakshmikant Chauhan ( Akshay ) and his perfect loving world with wife ( Radhika Apte ), mother and sisters in a small town. The story soon progresses to his noticing and not acquiescing with the way women deal with “ those five days”. Their seclusion, the untouchability, the shame and secrecy, their means of handling that phase has been brought up, highlighted and discussed, but in such subtle manner that it manages to convey the message without making us cringe.
The protagnist’s obsession with the issue from the point of view of health and hygiene is equally matched by the women’s refusal to see logic and reasoning. His resilience to keep looking for affordable and practical solutions is equally matched by frustrating ignorance of people. His efforts are thwarted by people who refused to support. He is even shunned by his own family and town.
Heartbroken but not broken in spirits ,the man continues and manages to make a path breaking innovation. Sadly though, the shunning and shaming continues till he finds support by an educated, open minded woman (Sonam Kapoor) who helps him not only get recognition but also helps his innovation reach and benefits millions of rural women.
It is admirable to see that the man who made the low cost innovative pad making machine had a chance to make millions by patenting his innovation. He chose instead to follow his heart and what inspired him at the very beginning .. to benefit those who are deprived and who cannot afford the hygienic solutions.
Finally, after devoting a major part of his life to his mission, many sacrifices and marathon efforts later, he manages to find the recognition he deserves and most importantly, acceptance to acknowledge and address the issue.
Watch: NewsMobile By The Way, Is today’s generation ready for ‘PadMan’
R. Balki who is known for taking up offbeat subjects, has done a fantastic job. He manages to entertain and engage, which is so much more important if you have to reach across to the masses on a sensitive issue. Subtle humour and romance have all been used beautifully while keeping the subject light and non preachy.
All performances are superb. Radhika Apte as the simple, ignorant wife is brilliant. She conveys the shame and pain so beautifully that you develop a soft spot for her despite her ignorance and her refusal to see things differently and support her husband.
The music matches the brilliance of the actors. Lyrics are by Kausar Munir and music by Amit Trivedi . The song “ aaj se teri” at the beginning of the movie with its beautiful lyrics is very romantic in it’s simplicity.
We have seen so many well made inspiring movies.What sets this one apart is its success in handling such an offbeat and difficult subject and its perfect execution. The team’s offbeat and aggressive marketing is also doing wonders in bringing the issue out of closet.
The movie makes you feel the journey of the man with all his passion, pains, frustrations and perseverance conveyed as perfectly as possible. All this ,while you are completely engaged emotionally, which I think is a feat for the director. The movie is so full of overwhelming moments that you would often find yourself misty eyed.
And most importantly, the movie manages to accomplish what is has set out to do . It pulls you out of your comfort zones, pulls down the discomfort of discussing the issue and inspires you to do your own little bit about it.