If you look at the template of the last two Akshay Kumar films, both serve as an advertisement for government campaigns. First one Toilet Ek Prem Katha was for Swach Bharath Campaign and this one, Pad man is for the make in India initiative. In comparison with the former, Pad Man directed by Balki has got more earnestness to its credit. Powered by a fabulous Akshay Kumar at the center of it, this movie is nothing great in terms of film making standards, but somewhat endearing due to some moments in it.
Lakshmikant Chauhan is a common man from Madhya Pradesh. He just got married and the guy got to know about the difficulties women go through during menstruation period only after the marriage when he saw his wife struggling. He loved his wife very much and wanted to provide her a sanitary pad. But the cost of it was an issue and thus Lakshmi decided to make pads by collecting the raw materials. The film Pad Man shows us the difficult journey of Lakshmi to becoming this iconic entrepreneur by surpassing all the hurdles he had to jump across, as it was considered a taboo topic in rural India.
I compared it with Toilet Ek Prem Katha because the intention here is to provide education to a mass audience who perhaps still thinks about sanitary pads as a taboo topic. Balki’s making is loud and less subtle intentionally, so that the message will reach its targeted audience. I liked this film on the whole because of some cinematic quality it has here and there and it becomes a movie one can’t really hate. Also the political propaganda is less evident in Pad Man. The initial buildup is flat and the awkward romantic chapter that happens at the end is also weird.
Akshay Kumar delivers a commendable performance in this movie. I was having this impression that he is doing it in his usual way until two scenes made me change my opinion. One, where he asks feedback about the pad he made to an IIT graduate (played by Sonam Kapoor) and secondly the speech he delivers at the united nations headquarters. Radhika Apte gets into the skin of the orthodox yet loving wife Gayatri. Sonam Kapoor was okay as the IIT girl.
It feels like Balki is becoming lesser and lesser subtle in depicting feminism in his movies. Well the demand of this movie might have influenced him to go that way. It was only in the equation between Sonam Kappor’s character and her dad, I could sense the typical Balki way of representing gender equality. The screenplay pretty much follows the mould of Toilet and because it is based on the real life hero Arunachalam Muruganantham, there are some fresh patches in the narrative. PC Sreeram’s frames are really great and the music by Amit Trivedi suits the rhythm of the movie.
The intention and achievement of Pad Man is much similar to what it was with Toilet. Personally I felt Pad Man was a bit ahead of Toilet as the story here had more heart to its credit along with a winning performance from Akshay Kumar.
Personally I felt Pad Man was a bit ahead of Toilet as the story here had more heart to its credit along with a winning performance from Akshay Kumar.