Another Friday, another ray of hope of finding some memorable visual stories in what we love to call as Bollywood.
And this Friday is definitely an iconic one as it brings highly-anticipated, much-awaited Padman, a movie made on one of the biggest “social taboo” subjects of our society. The movie has Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor in the lead role while it is directed by R. Balki.
To jump directly to the review, Padman follows the life-story of social entreprenuer Arunachallam Muruganantham. Laxmikant Chouhan (Akshay) gets a fury from his newly-wed wife (Radhika) when he buys a sanitary pad for her since they have to forego the milk. Laxmi is perplexed “itni halki cheez itni mehngi kyu hai”, but no one has the answer.
Innovative by nature, Laxmi dives himself to make low cost sanitary pad for his wife. However, little did he know that his simple act will be faced with ridicule, skepticism, superstition, condemnation and even banishment from the society.
The pace changes after the interval as R. Balki here shifted from the reals story and introduces a new fictitious character into the plot – a talented female tabla player and MBA grad Pari Walia (Sonam Kapoor), who has turned down a cushy career to become an active rural change agent.
Padman is simply an extra-ordinary and even too-inspiring-to-be true story of an ordinary man. However, the movie has its own set of teeny-weeny hiccups.
Firstly, Radhika appeared to be under-utilised in the whole plot. We have seen her deliver some knocking performances and waited for something to happen here too, but all in vain.
Secondly, Sonam’s lack of acting skills fell flat in front of Akshay. Even a bit monotonic.
Lastly, there was absolutely no need of any traces of romantic angle between Laxmi and Pari. Indian audience has come of age and can digest a platonic relationship between a man and a woman with a social issue as their common passion. Yes, we can. That scene of Pari stealing a kiss from a married man was too clinge-worthy!
All said and done, a great work by R. Balki. Not to forget superb editing by Chandan Arora and beautiful cinematography by P.C. Sreeram.
Ourtitbits’ take? Go out, take your lover, friends, family or whomever you want to take along or just go solo but do watch Padman. Such movies don’t come everyday.