‘America ke paas Superman hai, Batman hai, Spiderman hai … lekin India ke paas Padman hai’ this line is delivered by one of the characters in the movie Padman to highlight the contribution and achievements of Lakshmikant Chouhan – The Padman.
It surely takes lot of courage to put your money where your mouth is and bring on the silver screen a taboo and sensitive subject such as menstruation and female hygiene that also a leading actor as the main protagonist.
The story is based on a real life character that is being played by Akshay Kumar an 8th pass welder who in the opening sequence of the movie is getting married and who wants to make life easy for his new wife – Radhika Apte ; from designing a convenient pillion seat on his bicycle to making a onion cutter from a toy to ease her crying. The only thing that leaves him frustrated is the use of a dirty cloth by his wife during her menses and this is how he embarks on the journey from buying branded sanitary pads to using indigenous methods of copying the same. From convincing medical students to try his product to himself trying the same with animal blood and a football tube replicating as an uterus.
This not only leaves his wife but also his sisters and mother frustrated and embarrassed by his antics and the taunts of the village folks leading to their estrangements from him. This does not deter him and he goes on his journey from becoming a domestic help to ever a masseur to a moneylender to fulfill his dream which he finally realizes with the help of a Tabla Player /MBA- Sonam Kapoor and her IIT Professor father and also helping the poor women becoming selling these pads and turning entrepreneurs.
It’s an Akshay Kumar film all the way who sinks his teeth deep in the role playing the Character with honesty and spirit supported ably by the other players. The moments between him and Radhika Apte feel genuine and real. What I fail to understand is what was the reason Sonam Kapoor is shown as professional Tabla Player , I mean she could have been just anyone professional but a tabalchi??
I remember some time back visited an NGO in Udaipur that makes reusable clean cloth sanitary pads and had shown us the same and some of my friends just appreciated the idea but squirmed at the suggestions of holding and feeling the quality of a new pad. Go watch this movie just to bring a topic such as this to mainstream that also entertains, though sometimes it does gets preachy and is little too long but to encapsulate a man’s junoon for a movie does take time to retell.