Pad Man is based upon the life and struggles of social entrepreneur Arunachalam Muruganantham (name changed in the film as Laxmikant Chauhan, played by Akshay Kumar) who is the inventor of a low-cost sanitary pad-making machine and is credited for innovating grassroots mechanisms for generating awareness about traditional unhygienic practices around menstruation in rural India.
Positive Points: –
- On top of everything else that’s good or great or brilliant in this flick lies Akshay Kumar’s blinder as the titular character.
- The film blends comedy, emotions and its social message immaculately and is particularly stronger in its second half.
- Unlike most other such movies in Bollywood, Pad Man doesn’t falter in either its projection of its social issue or even its entertainment factor. This film ensures that its viewers are intrigued and enthralled for its complete 140 minutes’ runtime.
- Again, as opposed to most other movies, this feature doesn’t really drag around unnecessarily and stays focused on its theme for almost the entire premise.
- Laxmikant’s Linglish at the UN!!! That’s one of the best speeches I have seen in modern day Bollywood films!
Negative Points: –
- Even if I have a positive view towards the making of Pad Man, I felt the writing was tad lax at times and there was no necessity of incorporating any extra romantic angle into the storyline.
- Some supporting actors were a lot stoic or a lot overboard at times. Even Radhika Apte’s performance is underwhelming in comparison to her acting standards.
Direction, Script & Other Technicalities: –
Balki has done a contenting job with the direction of the film. There are a few glitches in his work which can be ignored and that’s probably because his work was largely governed by the film’s paper-work done by Balki himself with the support of Swanand Kirkire. Its screenplay is one of its strongest aspects and so are its chucklesome dialogues. The amalgamation of different emotions is done perfectly and in its pursual of conveying an important message, it doesn’t compromise with entertainment unlike most films of the same genre which become a drag in the middle. The peak of the film was however Laxmikant’s speech in the UN which was not only intelligently written but also spectacularly performed by Kumar.
There isn’t much to discuss about its cinematography, editing and CGI. The music by Amit Trivedi is pretty good and matches with the film’s tone.
Akshay Kumar is the heart and soul of this film and what he has delivered in the shoes of the titular character is no less than magical. His presence is radiant and his act is spectacular. He carries the film on his shoulders like a boss and makes it hard for the audience to look away from him. This is indeed his career best performance and I wish he wins an award for his portrayal of Laxmikant Chauhan aka Pad Man.
Sonam Kapoor is surprisingly good as Pari and delivers a justifying performance.
Radhika Apte isn’t really bad but fairly disappoints as Laxmi’s wife Gayatri. Her act was more theatrical and at times it felt as if she was overacting or was uncomfortable in performing a sequencing. This isn’t a performance that she could be proud of.
Amitabh Bachchan makes a powerful and important cameo as himself.
Final Verdict: –
Pad Man is the social-issue movie done right by Bollywood after a long time. It’s not only insightful with its message but is no less inspirational for the viewer also. Hat’s off to Mr. Arunachalam Muruganantham for all his efforts and struggles to ameliorate the lives of women in our country and bows to Akshay Kumar for his doing justice in portraying this great man. This is a movie for which you won’t regret even paying a thousand sum.