Akshay Kumar’s last film Toilet-Ek Prem Katha had tackled the issue of open defecation and now, Akshay Kumar’s first film with R. Balki as Padman, which takes on the subject of menstrual hygiene. In the PadMan, R Balki tells the real life inspiring story of Arunachalam Muruganantham (played by Akshay Kumar), an inventive entrepreneur from Coimbatore, who invented low cost sanitary napkins in India, despite the enormous opposition and humiliation he was subjected to. The director changes the film's setting to Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh, while retaining the core of his courageous story.
Film ‘Padman’ is all about Laxmikant Chauhan (Akshay), a worker in a small factory, who is fairly innovative by nature. When he realizes that his wife Gayatri (Radhika Apte) uses dirty rags during her menstrual cycle, Laxmikant is appalled and decides to take it upon himself to make low-cost sanitary pads for women, much to the repulsion and disgust of the women in his family.
How Laxmikant finally achieves to fulfill his mission with the help of Pari (Sonam Kapoor), a woman sympathetic to his cause, forms the rest of the plot.
Akshay proves his worth yet again with ‘Padman’. As Laxmikant, Akshay is sincere and genuine and carries the movie on his strong shoulders. Radhika, who essays his wife, is commendable with her natural act. Radhika Apte portrays her part beautifully, making her character relatable to the section of women, who still face such societal taboos. On other side, another important actress Sonam has given good support to the narrative with her candour.
About the film, ‘Padman’ is sensitive enough with this brave subject. Its narrative has included much-needed doses of humour. The second half is slightly stretched but R. Balki does justice to the story and the emotions behind the plot. It was really a sensitive and brave decision to make a movie on a subject that is considered a taboo across society and however, Balki succeeds to weave a lovely and motivating underdog story with menstrual hygiene as the backdrop. Balki's Padman is an empowering film that gives you the wings, despite the odds. It will free women of their inhibitions and that will be its biggest success. On the other side, Akshay Kumar’s speech at the end of the film is surely bring a lump to your throat.
In general, film Padman is worthy to watch once for a strong message about menstrual hygiene and Akshay Kumar’s genuine act.