Review: PadMan should have been a campaign or a documentary, but not a film

Akshay Kumar, Twinkle Khanna and R Balki's attempt to create awareness about Menstruation, Periods and Sanitary through PadMan and the intention is commendable as this initiative would certainly bring a difference. However, due to certain flaws and elements, PadMan seems more like a campaign and not a film. The product is appreciated but not in a way it is served. Here's the movie review.

  • Review: PadMan should have been a campaign or a documentary, but not a film
  • Review: PadMan should have been a campaign or a documentary, but not a film
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Cast: AkshayKumar, Radhika Apte, and Sonam Kapoor.

Rating: 2/5

Over the last few decades, films in Bollywood are being made keeping the social issues in mind, so much so that most of them have created a lot of buzz and awareness on social media. The most recent being the PadMan challenge, where many Bollywood celebs and people around the world have been sending pictures with a Sanitary Pad in their hand, to promote a message of being vocal and get rid of the taboo regarding periods, menstruation and more.

With an aim to bring a change in the society. Twinkle Khanna, Akshay Kumar, and R Balki joined hands to make a film titled PadMan based on, on Arunachalam Muruganantham, who faced a lot of hatred and challenges only to ensure that his wife doesn’t go through pain and trouble during periods. The Padma Shri awardee and a social entrepreneur from Coimbatore, Arunachalam invented a low-cost sanitary pad-making machine in order to create awareness about the unhygienic forms and practices used during menstruation in many parts of our country. His invention has been installed in 23 states in India and can manufacture sanitary pads at a very low cost, thereby making it affordable for every girl and woman. Keeping his intentions intact, Arunachalam today plans to go global by expanding the production to hundreds of different nations. He is also known as ‘India's Menstrual Man.’

Based on ‘The Sanitary Man of Sacred Land,’ a short story from Twinkle Khanna's book The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad, PadMan is a comedy-drama film, written and directed by R. Balki. Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, and Radhika Apte play the lead roles in the film. Lakshmikant Chauhan (Akshay) lives a happy life with his wife, Gayatri (Radhika Apte). But one fine day, he discovers that due to the high cost of Sanitary pads, his wife used rags and newspapers during her periods. This troubles him, and because of which he plans to design experimental pads. He tries making them out of cotton, but his efforts go in vain due to rejection, who later stop supporting him with his thought too. Soon, he finds out that the cost of producing these pads is very less, but MNCs sell them for 40 times more than that price. He sets off on a quest to make them and find volunteers but faces issues when women shy away from discussing their concerns about their menstrual cycle.

His struggle of facing hatred, questions, troubles, experiments, etc. makes the rest of the movie – a journey which today has become remarkable, so much so, that his attempt to making this initiative a success is taking shape in reality.


Akshay Kumar plays his character to the best, and so does Radhika Apte. Sonam Kapoor has no strong role in the film. What comes across clearly in and through the story is the intention. The reason why Akshay, Twinkle, and the team decided to bring this story to the forefront is clear, however, the flaw in the film is the exaggeration of the subject. 

Life of a simple man, who made efforts to change the lives could have been told in a better way. The dialogues, plot, music and many other elements are exaggerated to a level which makes it difficult to watch the film. The first half of the film shows the struggle and the second half strives to show how he made a pad and eventually became popular. This part of the story truly saves the film a lot. 

As mentioned above, the intention and thought behind the film is commendable, as it talks about the subject, which is the need of the hour. However, the film should have focused on making the fictional content interesting to watch or should have been shown in a different format. To be honest, I believe PadMan should have been a documentary. From the first frame, this release seems more like a campaign than cinema.

If you are aware of the subject, its importance and want to make a difference, then choose to do it wisely. Watching the film will definitely help the intention, but would you personally make a difference? I don't think so. But for those, who do not know, this 'campaign film' would be a 'good lesson.'

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