What is it about?
PadMan is a biopic on Arunachalam Muruganantham, who made affordable sanitary pads and delivered them to women in rural villages across Tamil Nadu. Director R Balki has a winner in Akshay Kumar playing the lead. PadMan talks about the struggle of a husband who initially worries about his wife's health during her periods. Akshay Kumar who educates his wife the need of using pads doesn't succeed in convincing her. After failing to make a proper pad for his wife, Akshay makes an attempt to educate his sisters and the villagers. But everything goes in vain. After humiliations and failures, he is forced to leave his wife and also the village. What then transpires makes the film's plot.
What makes the film?
Making a biopic on Arunachalam Muruganantham, an inventor, and a social entrepreneur is not an easy task. All thanks to R Balki, who has successfully written one of the finest screenplays and delivers a masterpiece. PadMan talks about the struggles, perseverance, emotions, socio-concerns, basic needs and also touches upon entrepreneurial skills. Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor are the next pillars of the film and have equally delivered an impactful performance. PadMan builds its story in Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh (North India) from where the film travels to rural villages in North India and slowly shifts gears and the need to use sanitary pads for women becomes a must from where Lakshmi (Akshay Kumar) becomes the most wanted person around the globe for making affordable sanitary pads.
What didn't work?
There are just a few elements which didn't work in the film. Every socio-drama film's concern is the pace at which the screenplay travels. PadMan isn't an exception. The film takes time to establish the core content. The music could have been better, especially the film's BGM score, which could have been more impactful. With just these two concerns, the film scores big time with performances and a strong content.
PadMan's big positives are its solid content, impactful performances from Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor. Besides these, there is an amazing work from legendary cinematography PC Sreeram, whose lighting and frameworks speak larger than dialogues. Balki's screenplay and his statistic reports, which say only 12% of Indian women use pads and the effects to ensure every woman use the pads, have visually worked big time. The relationship between Akshay Kumar and Sonam Kapoor is very significant and deserves an applause.
Kudos to PadMan's entire cast and crew, who have just turned Arunachalam Muruganantham's life journey into a perfectly packaged biopic. The film has everything going for it, inspires us in many ways and emphasizes the need for women to use pads and also talks about women empowerment.