Padman Movie Review 2018

Padman Movie Review 2018: Periods, Pads & Patents

Movie Name
R. Balki
02 hours 20 minutes

Padman Review

It's like a sequel. Writer-director R Balki faithfully follows the template of Toilet Ek Prem Katha with a husband who cares and a typical rural setting. If the resistance in the earlier film was to building a toilet in the house, it's a collective ‘no' to substituting the unhygienic cloth with a sanitary pad.

But Lakshmi, the husband this time has a curious, inventive mind, forever making things diligently with his hands. When that time of the month rolls along for wife Gayatri, Lakshmi's mind whirrs into action again. But menstrual hygiene is an alien thought. His obsession with making the women around use his low-cost, homemade pads turns him persona non-grata. Mother, wife, sister, the whole village labels him crazy, a man who's bringing shame to all of them.

Time-worn superstitions and the whispers about the women's problem are stitched in, including the euphemism of a 5-day test match for monthly periods. The high cost of branded pads brings forth the exclamation from his wife that the rest of the family will treat it like he's bought her jewellery. Jaise zevar laaye ho. That's when his inventive skills take over.

The ad man in R Balki gives a spin to the real-life story of Arunachalam Muruganatham, the man whose mission has been to make the sanitary pad affordable and within the reach of every woman wherever she may live. He becomes Lakshmikant Chauhan in the film, and much of Muruganatham's real story is woven into it. Right down to getting a divorce notice from his wife to testing the pad by wearing it himself.

Some may find that comic but when you know that a man in India really did that, you want to stand up and applaud.

There is, of course, cinematic license in the shape of tabla player Pari played by Sonam Kapoor who desperately needs a pad and bumps into Lakshmi who's got one right there in his pocket. It's a fortuitous filmi coincidence that sets him off a journey that sees success, fame and international recognition.

With Balki around, there's a light touch that keeps it watchable. And I find the number ‘Aaj se teri..' very hummable.

Balki turns Padmi Shri Muruganatham's Ted Talk which is available on YouTube into the climax and sets in the UN where Lakshmikant says he's now ‘Lakshmi Can' in a speech that sums it all up in broken English. This one wins over the urban audience.

Akshay Kumar once again comes up trumps with sincerity, like a man on a mission. Radhika Apte as his wife is apt. And Sonam who's the urban connection provides the right contrast.


  • Dialogues
  • Story
  • Music
  • Screen Play

The Verdict

Ultimately, this is an important story to tell for it’s not only about changing the mindset about menstrual hygiene. There’s the by-product of employment and empowerment for rural women and philanthropy in Lakshmi’s triumph.

If the message reaches the people for whom it’s meant, that’ll be the bigger triumph.

For a well-narrated real-life story with a social message, Padman gets a 3* rating.


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