Starring Akshay Kumar and Radhika Apte in lead roles, the film deals with the topic of menstrual health in rural parts of India.
By Mohnish Singh - February 8, 2018
Cast: Akshay Kumar,Sonam Kapoor,Radhika Apte,Amitabh Bachchan
Director: R. Balki
Positive Points: Performances, Direction, Writing
Negative Points: Editing
Inspired from the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a Tamil Nadu-based social activist who created a low-cost sanitary napkins machine for rural women in India, Pad Man revolves around Laxmikant (Akshay Kumar), a simple, unlettered but innovative man living in a small village on the bank of river Narmada in Madhya Pradesh. He has just married Gayatri (Radhika Apte) and loves her unconditionally. Everything is hunkydory in their small world until Laxmi realizes what all his wife goes through during her periods. He brings her sanitary napkins from market, but she refuses to use them as they are costly. He tries to make affordable pads for her but nothing helps. He continues his efforts to make sustainable pads but all in vain. Gayatri and his family request him to leave his fascination for pads and focus on work, but things go out of hand when the Panchayat orders him to leave the village for approaching girls to use his cheap pads. After leaving the village, Laxmi has only one mission - to create a machine which helps produce low-cost napkins. The girl who helps him in his pursuit is an MBA student Pari (Sonam Kapoor). To know what happens next, watch the film.
After Toilet Ek Prem Katha, Akshay Kumar is back with yet another message-driven film. In the past few years, Kumar has become a face of cinema that talks about some change. He agrees to star in films which no other mainstream actor dares to feature in not even in their dreams. But Akshay is nonpareil. With is effective performance in Pad Man, he captures the audience and makes the struggle of a man who is striving to make an affordable sanitary-making machine seem so genuine and heartfelt. Radhika Apte plays a perfect wife. Her character can bear unbearable pain but is not ready to do something which she thinks is against the deeply rooted customs and norms of the society. The actress looks unbelievably perfect in her role. She has played a village woman before in Parched, but you cannot find a singular similarity between both the characters and their demeanor and mannerism no matter how much you try. Sonam Kapoor, who enters Laxmi’s life as an angel and helps him achieve his goals, essays her role effectively. She succeeds in leaving her mark despite entering the narrative much later.
Pad Man is helmed by R Balki who has previously delivered commercially and critically successful films like Cheeni Kum, Paa and Ki & Ka. The director is known for taking up subjects which are niche yet sprinkled with all the spices of typical Bollywood potboilers. His latest outing also falls in the line of his previous works. It deals with a serious and taboo subject, but there is hardly any sign of melancholy running through the film. Instead, it uses humour and compassion as weapons to deal with harsh realities rural women come across every second day. With vivid attention to detail and well-wrought characters, Balki presents such a fine piece of cinema that highly deserves a watch.
The film could have been close to flawless had it been edited more crisply. There are certain scenes which do not really add much to the narrative. Production value of the film is up to the mark and so are cinematography and other technical aspects.
Noted music composer Amit Trivedi has scored music for Pad Man. The composer is known for his unique and distinctive style of music, which sets him apart from his contemporaries. Maintaining his uniqueness, Tridevi delivers an album that has a perfect mix of out-and-out romantic and situational numbers. The song 'Aaj Se Teri', sung by Arijit Singh and penned down by Kausar Munir, is one romantic song which will live on for years in the memory of all the music lovers. There is a quirky the 'Pad Man' song which is very situational and sets the tone for the film. Hu Ba Hu is another track you cannot miss. Sapne and Sayaani are also good. Overall, this one is a complete winner from Amit Trivedi.
You cannot miss Pad Man at any cost. It is a film which one should watch with the whole family. It is a message-driven movie, a message which it delivers in the most entertaining way, without being preachy at any given point of time. Akshay Kumar is in his terrific form once again, ensuring that the new kind of cinema he does these days will always remain entertaining no matter whether it carries a message or not.
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