Indian critics think PadMan could have been a better movie

Indian critics think PadMan could have been a better movie

Padman often seems like a Public Service Advertisement parading as a commercial film, writes one critic
12 Feb, 2018

Akshay Kumar's second consecutive film-for-a-cause PadMan released last weekend, and Indian critics aren't terribly impressed.

Also read: Bill Gates gives Akshay Kumar's Toilet: Ek Prem Katha a shout-out on Twitter

While critics agree that the film is a well-intentioned project, what everyone wanted to see was how it adds to the little conversation India has on a taboo topic and how it's different from Menstrual Man, the documentary made on the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, on whom the film is based.

Here's what they thought:

Times of India thinks PadMan was less film, more PSA

"Given the constant mention of statistics pertaining to the inadequate percentage of women who use pads in India, and reiteration of the film's issue based motive, Padman often seems like a Public Service Advertisement parading as a commercial film. In order to appeal to the lowest common denominator, things are over-explained and all of this results in a sluggish progression of events. However, given how awkward women are made to feel even today while buying sanitary pads from a medical store, this social drama makes for an important film that needs to be watched."

The Hindu thinks Arunachalam Muruganantham's story could have been told much better

"Arunachalam Muruganantham's deep-rooted wit shines through in Amit Virmani’s documentary Menstrual Man as you see him making a light of the worst ordeals in his life. The idiosyncrasy and ingenuity could have led to a compelling biographical portrait on screen. Unfortunately R. Balki drowns out all the delightful drollness and quirks in overt piety and dreary melodrama. Akshay Kumar’s Lakshmikant then is not even half as intriguing as India’s real Pad Man."

Filmfare was all praise for Radhika Apte

"Though he looks twice her size, there is real chemistry between Akshay and Radhika. Their interactions breathes life into the film.

Radhika brings out the nuances of rural housewife who despite being in love with her husband can't bring herself to let go of age-old norms. There is a certain stigma attached to periods and the actress brings it to the fore quite nicely. She can't comprehend why her husband is so concerned about something which by and large is seen as a woman's 'problem'."

Rediff Movies think Sonam Kapoor's character was misused in the film

"PadMan dramatises his reality to accommodate romance and distinction with a calculation that is one of the weakest aspects of an otherwise constructive narrative.

Serving as catalyst to this purpose, Sonam Kapoor contributes with her sartorial elegance and appears at home in her character's urban, rational and humanitarian sensibilities. But Balki's need to complicate her platonic equation with Akshay leaves the viewer both confused and distracted."

The Indian Express thinks the film was too much about Akshay Kumar

"PadMan's solution of ‘have-pad-will-solve-menstrual-problems’ is simplistic, and yes, patriarchal. A little nuance (about how menstruation is not just a physically painful occurrence but an instrument to keep women firmly in their place) would have gone a long way in making PadMan deeper and more satisfyingly complex, but this is not that kind of film.

It is the kind of film which has to focus on its big male star for obvious reasons. We are left with the man of the movie, and the reason why this film has been made. Akshay gets fully into the role while trying to get in touch with the ‘feminine’ side of him, with some nice strokes: he is the film, in a sense, and he is both earnest and likeable enough, even if he is in familiar do-good mode, and even if we wish his women looked his age. And, even more crucially, that PadMan paid as much attention to its medium as its message."


Vijay Feb 12, 2018 05:06pm
If the critiques don't think something is not right on the matter they are critiquing then they won't be able to justify their jobs.
Deepak Feb 12, 2018 05:24pm
This is a fantastic movie. Viewer's respect towards woman will increase after watching this movie. Our society deserves more such kind of meaningful cinemas.
Taimoor Feb 12, 2018 05:47pm
Its a must watch movie. Eye opener to problems female goes through. Loved it.
wellwisher Feb 12, 2018 06:40pm
I am surprised this movie is banned in some countries. I thought it will be treated as an educational movie for rural masses
Saima Feb 12, 2018 07:56pm
@wellwisher It's only banned in one country, no other.
schali Feb 12, 2018 09:33pm
@Saima In one country, where they know everything about everything. Who is this Padman to tell them what he knows?
sach Feb 12, 2018 09:46pm
I m on my way back after watching this movie. The cinemas were 90% full considering today is Monday. Yest I couldn't get tickets hence went today. Critics will slowly disappear once it starts earning more. Over a period of time the movie will earn awards and recognition too. That time these newspapers and critics will run editorials congratulating the movie. And we will know about this within fifteen days.
Nasser Feb 13, 2018 01:41am
I think the film was superbly excellent; and very glad that it was so touching on a subject which is largely taboo and affects half the world population. I am least bit impressed by Bollywood as most of its production is sub-standard, bar the music. But it does make some good movies and this was, in the top 5 ever. Could this film been better?; yes of course. Could Bradman be a better batsman?; yes of course. I have 2 criticisms only. The film seemed to be more about Akshay Kumar than the charcter that he was meant to be portraying. Having said this, I cannot think of any other actor who could have played this part any better except for Nana Patekar. And, was it necessary to create a love angle in Sonam Kapoor? Bollywood needs to get more sophisticated. Not masala movie everytime. I am sure the audience would have appreciated a welcome change to the boring norm.
Rajesh Moza Feb 13, 2018 05:42am
It is unfair to discuss just the critiques and not the actual movie. Padman is an excellent movie. It is difficult to turn life of Mr. Arunachalam (an illetrate weldor, who becomes an innovator and an inventor) into a commercial hit movie. Kudos to Akshay Kumar, the actor, his wife Twinkle, producer of this movie and Director Balki for making a wonderful movie and in turn start open conversation on menstrual hygiene.
Vijay B. Feb 13, 2018 06:23am
Peeing and pooping are in a way a lot more nastier than monthly periods and yet those are not really tabooed subjects. We do not hesitate to openly buy, carry, display and talk about bathroom tissue, do we? So why would talking about periods and sanitary napkins be such a big deal? I also think, the more educated and enlightened a person, the more rational will be his/her view on this subject.