PadMan Hindi Movie Review

Feature Film | UA | Drama
This is a dramatised biopic of India's sanitary 'Pad' man, who in his quest for making cheaper sanitary napkins for his wife, suffered socially, was ostracised and then ultimately acknowledged for his innovation. Akshay Kumar does a fabulous job as small town inventor but the story comes together only in the second half with the arrival of Sonam Kapoor who guides him to greatness. If you can endure the slow, unmoving first half, this film is socially relevant.
Feb 8, 2018 By Manisha Lakhe

Last year you watched 'Phullu' a film made rather shoddily on the same subject, and one has learnt that there is another film in the works about the same Pad man. How does this film fare?

Akshay Kumar plays Laxmikant Chauhan, who is a fabricator, a small time inventor. His family has four women (two sisters, a mother and a wife). His saucer-eyed wife is Radhika Apte, the perfect small town woman, surprised and embarrassed at her husband's display of affection. His distress at discovering that his wife has to endure the unhygienic use of cloth during menstruation is so great he wants her to use sanitary pads. But the cost is prohibitive and the stigma attached to 'women's problems' is great. So he attempts something that inventors will. He attempts to make a 'pad' at home. His logic is, it would be cheaper, and his wife won't have to endure the possibility of infection (and maybe death) with the use of cloth.

It just 'looks wrong' according to his wife. And the audience, then begins to endure a hopelessly weepy wife who is like, 'Why are you interested in what's happening between a woman's legs'. He is unable to explain his fears, and he attempts to get his sister, married out of town, to try his home-made sanitary pad, and a neighborhood girl. Socially, in a small town, these actions are not just odd, but a horrendous interference in 'women's matters'.

Thankfully as he explains later, every failure just made him doggedly determined to succeed. The film's second half actually begins to tell the story, which is very interesting. His efforts at trying to understand why a sanitary napkin costs so much are really endearing. Then arrives Pari, Sonam Kapoor, who inadvertently is his first customer after he is trying out his fabricated machine. Pari figures out what is wrong with his sales approach and his 'low cost pad' business takes off. Sonam Kapoor just shines in the small role and is such a stark contrast to his weepy wife, that you begin to notice Akshay Kumar as a hero not just as an eccentric chap. Pari is played with charm and grace you are forced to look at this young actor with fresh eyes. You want to reach out and hug her after she tells Akshay what she does on the flight. That is so real, it matches the brilliant speech Akshay gives at the United Nations (a tad overdone, I thought, but needed, for a socially relevant film). The romance is unexpected and you wish characters had broken tradition and the hero had chosen a beautiful, smart woman instead of going back to his silly, weepy, wife who abandons him.

The film is socially relevant so critics will be careful when offering critique. And even though it has a stellar star cast, this film could go straight to TV to actually reach rural women. But the second half is worth the two and a half stars it has earned.

Manisha Lakhe



The movie emphasizes on use of sanitary napkins while women are in their mences. Brave attempt by the director R. Balk... Show more
The movie emphasizes on use of sanitary napkins while women are in their mences. Brave attempt by the director R. Balki to make a movie on such a sensitive and tabooed topic. Akashay Kumay is the real gem of the movie. While both Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte play their roles perfectly well. All in all, the film says that sanitary napkin is like a 'jeanie' for women for a clean female hygine!