Why Pad Man is such an important film for India

The last Indian movie I saw in the cinema was Padmaavat/Padmavati (whatever) which was okay, but it wasn’t really my cuppa chai. I’m always touched by stories that are relevant to people today and make an impact. Films that empower people; male or female and Pad Man does just that. It’s also been a while since I have been compelled to share my views on a movie, but I had to share my thoughts on Pad Man.

The movie stars Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor in the lead roles. The film, in essence, is a real-life story about Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social activist from Tamil Nadu who introduced low-cost sanitary pads to villages in India. In the movie we’re told that only 12% of women in India use sanitary pads and the rest use dirty cloths that men would not even clean their bicycles with!

Padman_poster

Can you believe this?

On my way to watch the movie, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I actually had a conversation with my mum in car on the way to the cinema and she told me that even when they were younger in Africa, they used to use cloths and would turn them over, it was only as they got older they used a brand called Modest. It made me realise how lucky we are to have access to sanitary pads and tampons and recent innovations such as moon cups.

I don’t think a film like this has been made on such a wide scale and I am so glad Twinkle Khanna’s first foray as producer was with SUCH an important film – she is such a positive influence in India and I adore her!

There is no shame in having periods. Even today, we talk about periods freely with our female friends, about which pads or tampons we use, but why don’t we talk about them with men? If it wasn’t for periods, they wouldn’t be here. Also, the whole you can’t pray or go into a holy place because you’re on your period, is utter BS. If God didn’t want you to have periods, then why were we made like this?

I am so glad this film has been made, people need to talk about these NORMAL to women issues more. There’s no shame and these so-called traditions of being impure when you’re on your period need to change.

I am becoming such a fan of Sonam Kapoor. She does REAL roles and of course she looks great while doing them, and even though she is only in the second half, like, she nails the character of Pari. The empathy, the love, the drive and want to help Muruganantham is dealt with in such a sensitive way. Radhika Apte as the ‘embarrassed wife’ is also fantastic and she plays the role of a village wife in a very beautiful and touching way.

But let’s take a moment to talk about Akshay Kumar. Oh Akshay how far you have come since the 90’s. In my opinion, this is Akshay’s career-best performance. Akshay nailsssss the role of the A Muruganantham but its done with real sensitivity and nothing feels forced or made fun out of; which was so important in a film like this. His want to help his wife, the fear for her safety, the anxieties of not being able to find a solution and his happiness when he finally finds the solution. The end speech he gives at the United Nations is outstanding and it’s been a long time since I have been so engrossed in a scene. It was so emotional, real and heart-felt.

Akshay with a Muruganantham - source Twitter
Akshay with a Muruganantham – source Twitter

The director R Balki, who’s married to one of my favourite female directors, Gauri Shinde (director of one of my absolute favourite films Dear Zindagi), hats off to you for dealing with this issue in such a touching manner and bringing this story to the world you’re a revolutionary director, please never stop making films like this.

I could go on for so much longer about this movie, but I urge you all to go and watch it. Take your husbands, boyfriends, sons, male friends and watch it!

To the whole team of Pad Man. Akshay Kumar, R Balki, Twinkle Khanna, Sonam Kapoor, Radhika Apte and everyone involved, I want to congratulate you for bringing the visionary Muruganantham’s story to the big screen and informing, educating and empowering everyone in India and the world.

Salute!!!!

Sources of pics:

Pic 1 – Wikipedia. Pic 2 – Twitter.

Priya Mulji

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