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Padman [2018]: An Honourable Film Justifying the Praiseworthy Efforts of a Common man

“Being a small boy I understood very quickly that it’s only on silver screen that women are heroines. Real life is hard and difficult.”

– Arunachalam Muruganantham

It doesn’t matter whether you live in the city or in the village, whether you’re literate or illiterate. India is the country where still periods are considered as a subject of taboo. The intention of “Padman” was never to tell the story about making cheap sanitary pads. Its main focus is to enlighten the subject of women periods and to vanish the shamefulness remaining behind pathetic beliefs about it. Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor starrer this film is clean, natural and a great message provider. Even after watching the film one might admire to watch this kind of films at least once in a year.

The film begins with the very melodious song “Aaj se teri” which is beautifully sung by Aijit Singh. These few minutes shows the pure romance between a middle-class man Lakshmikant Chauhan (Akshay Kumar) and his wife Gayatri (Radhika Apte). It is one of the best romances one can find this year. Then they introduce the family of Lakshmi including his sisters and his old mother. Lakshmi is the man of protective nature and he daily tries to resolve the usual problems of his family especially the troubles of his wife. Soon, he got the attention towards his wife using the dirty cloth while she is having periods. After knowing about the risk lies in dealing with periods unsafely, Lakshmi’s journey starts to make the cheap sanitary pads by him only.

Radhika Apte played the role of Gayatri very decently. Gayatri represents the situation of every married woman where they face multiple challenges during the periods. Even she clearly mentioned that the women would rather die of an illness than living in shame! Akshay Kumar plays the role of Lakshmikant Chauhan and he is best in his role. Lakshmi’s love for his wife motivates him to make a sanitary pad by himself. So that he can assure his wife to use the cheap pad instead of dirty cloth or the costly pad. It’s very harsh to see him sacrificing his family, village, and self-respect just to make the cheap sanitary pads. Eventually, his fight for his wife’s self-esteem becomes the fight of every woman against the lower social beliefs about the use of sanitary pads.

Sonam Kapoor plays the role of Pari Walia gently and in a charming way. She helps Lakshmikant to turn himself into the first Padman of India.“Padman” is director R. Balki’s fifth film. Under his direction, the film looks quite natural and the film’s lead actors ravishingly justify the life of social activist Arunachalam Muruganantham. The special appearance of Amitabh Bachchan and his short speech pours real sensibility into the ambitious people’s mind. Amit Trivedi’s music offers the soothing ointment of lyrical beauty to the film. The main charms of the film are its actors. They exquisitely capture the emotions of the story under the patriarchal environment. The last speech of Lakshmikant is simply phenomenal.

As a film, “Padman” doesn’t dare high to show the frightful incidents that the real Padman might have faced. But it is a sure winner for making its viewers conscious about what is wrong happening with the women. It suitably captures the absurd reality of women’s self-esteem during the periods. Moreover, “Padman” is scrubbed and pure cinema to render the experience of the family-friendly film. With this film, Akshay Kumar has played one of the most significant roles in the recent time. At the end of the film, giving tribute to the work of real-life Padman, everyone would love to say, “Super hero hai yeh pagla!”

★★★1/2

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