Monday 21 January 2019

PadMan (2018)

One of my movie goals last year was to watch more non-English language movies, specifically Indian movies as I'd like to change the image I have of Bollywood because of the musicals. I didn't really do it last year so I'm starting now, with PadMan, a movie Sid, my only source of Indian movie suggestions, stressed me so much to watch.

Inspired by the life of Tamil Nadu social activist Arunachalam Muruganantham, the story follows Lakshmikant Chauhan (Akshay Kumar), a devoted husband who gets worried on seeing his wife, Gayatri (Radhika Apte), using a dirty rag during her periods. When his wife refuses to use the expensive sanitary pads he bought at the pharmacy, he sets out to create them himself in order to provide his wife, and other women, a safe and hygienic period and will be criticized by his village and disowned by his family in the process.

It comes without saying that PadMan's is a very inspiring story that deserved to be told but if you have seen as many "inspired by true events" films as I have, you know inspiring alone is not enough. Thankfully, while it drags a bit at times, features an unnecessary romantic subplot which only distracts from the main storyline, and the outcome is predictable, the story is informative, educative and entertaining at the same time without being too preachy, and deals with its taboo subject with humour and a lot of sensitivity.

It also helps that the character of Lakshmikant, a simple, uneducated man living with his mother, two sisters and his wife, is a very likeable and charming one and you can't help but root for him as he tries to improve the life of the women around him. Akshay Kumar is fantastic as he gives a very natural performance and delivers an incredibly touching speech. And he is absolutely adorable when he speaks in Linglish (Lakshmi-English). The supporting cast does a nice job, especially Radhika Apte who is perfect as Lakshmikant's conservative wife, Gayatri.

Sony Pictures Releasing
With PadMan, director and writer R. Balki finds a great balance between comedy and drama —the first never feels forced; the latter is never over-the-top— and delivers a film that will make you laugh and cry. There are a few musical numbers —it's still Bollywood, after all— but they are appropriate and very enjoyable. 

Ultimately, this is a lighthearted, fun movie that deserves to be watched as it brings awareness about an important topic, it being the poor sanitary conditions of women in parts of India either because they don't know about the existence of pads or because they can't afford them. It's not just India or poor countries to be honest, as pads and other female hygiene items are considered luxury items and are taxed as such.


  1. Great review, Sonia! Every time I watch a Hindi film I'm amazed, some of the most pleasurable films I've ever seen. A few I highly recommend are: Like Stars on Earth, PK, Dangal and 3 Idiots. Anything with Aamir Khan to be honest. PK is one of my all-time favorites!

    1. I know right, they are so enjoyable! I'll check out your suggestions.

  2. This sounds nice. My theater gets a Bollywood movie once every month and I never go because the run times freak me out, they're all almost three hours long.

    1. The truth? The length freaks me out too haha they somehow manage to make enjoyable movies though