After Toilet, comes Padman…. Akshay continues….
Well a lot has been spoken about this film and the taboos it tries to break by using the real life story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, the man from Coimbatore, who really spent his life and created this revolution in rural India. So I wont get into the subject of the film, since that is its USP.
What I would like to write in this review is that one has to give it to the makers, Balki, Twinkle Khanna, Swanand Kirkire, Radhika Apte, Sonam Kapoor and last but not the least, Akhay Kumar, the star. The reason I mention this is because there was a similar film which released a year ago and went largely unnoticed, primarily due to the lack of stars and publicity. In an industry, especially in the past few years, where we as an audience regularly keep accusing our stars of not doing anything different and sticking to old routines, or just change facial make up or cut down your height in an attempt to be ‘different’, this is a bold and welcome step. The film with its relevant and shocking facts about menstrual hygiene and its acceptance as a part of human anatomy is something we all should be patronizing.
Not because it has Akshay Kumar, but because Akshay is using his star power and getting a topic as natural as this, into your households, so that people not only start talking about it, but start accepting it as a part of life, not ‘technicals’ or ‘being down’ as many urban people too still call it. I’m not saying we use this as a way of making people uncomfortable, but yes, men need to be made so. Cos only when they break the taboo in our largely patriarchal setup, will the younger generation follow.
Enough gyaan now, cos will leave the rest for the film to deliver. This is a must watch film, undoubtedly. But just as I had predicted, it suffers from the same preachiness and for a certain portion, free use of cinematic liberty, to deliver its message, just like Toilet did. But yet again, it was bound to be cos if not, then the films would just land up being spoofs of our current state of affairs.
Radhika Apte is first rate, yet again. Man she needs to do more mainstream movies, not because she deserves it, cos audiences deserve a performer like her. Sonam Kapoor is refreshing in her fictional Pari, but still manages to uplift the second half. It is a well thought idea to let a woman finally help our protagonist Lakshmi out of his situation and rise.
Akshay should take a bow, not only for choosing such socially relevant subjects, but doing them with so much respect. Yes, there is always this hitch just like Toilet, that he at times looks too old for a newly married young man, now especially, but that can be forgiven. His shock, angst, irritations and eventual pride for his work is highly commendable. Kudos to him.
Balki does a great job as a writer in the first half, but somehow the weight of the subject takes its toll on him post interval. But as a director, he has his heart in the right place, and this is after some time now.
RATING : 3/5
By: Yusuf Poonawala