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PADMAN- Reviews, Box Office, Discussions. (Page 5)

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Posted: 09 February 2018 at 12:13am | IP Logged
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Edited by SrideviFan4ever - 27 April 2018 at 9:19am

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Edited by SrideviFan4ever - 27 April 2018 at 9:18am

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Posted: 09 February 2018 at 2:53am | IP Logged
Padman: Akshay Kumar delivers career best performance in audacious film cursed by underwhelming first half

Firstpost    Feb 09, 2018 10:28 IST
Had Padman released on its original date, 25 January, along with Padmaavat, it would have surely dominated the 'vagina monologues' (remember Swara Bhasker wrote an open letter to Sanjay Leela Bhansali stating that his film made her feel reduced to a vagina at the cost of Rajput honour?). Akshay Kumar-starrer Padman battles an abstract notion of shame (which masqueraded as a shield of honour in Padmaavat) around the conversation on menstruation.

Inspired from the life of Arunachalam Muruganatham, the inventor of a low-cost sanitary pad manufacturing machine, Padman is based on a short story in Twinkle Khanna's book The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad. Akshay Kumar plays the role of Lakshmikant Chouhan, the character modelled on Muruganatham, a mechanic who lives in a village in Madhya Pradesh.

Akshay Kumar as the reel Padman and Arunachalam Muruganathanam as the real Padman
Akshay Kumar as the reel Padman and Arunachalam Muruganathanam as the real Padman
Soon after his wedding to Gayatri (played by Radhika Apte), he notices how she is ostracised from the house during menstruation. She uses a dirty rug to clean the menstrual blood which makes Lakshmi apprehensive of the health hazards it could cause to his wife. Gayatri is averse to the idea of using a sanitary pad because of its high cost, which prompts her husband to come up with a low cost sanitary napkin of his own. His efforts backfire as his single minded agenda to invent a pad only makes the entire village dub him as a madman. Thus starts his journey to evolve from a madman to a Padman.

Pardon the done-to-death rags to riches/underdog trope, but that is what the entire promotional narrative around the film has been like to project Kumar's character as a superhero (even Amitabh Bachchan pops up in a cameo to commemorate the mighty Padman).

Kumar remains refreshingly aloof of his 'the next big thing' persona and pumps humility into his character. I'm deliberately using the word 'pump', because it seems like he invests a lot of effort into his act (watch out for the scene where he demonstrates how his invention is operated). He acts as the perfect bridge between the 'classes' and the 'masses', using subtle humour and a straight face to debunk one menstrual myth at a time.

The divide between the 'classes' and the 'masses' plays a character in the film as well. R Balki and Swanand Kirkire creatively deconstruct Khanna's short story and then build a narrative of their own. The film is aptly divided into two symbolic halves. While the pre-interval portion focuses on the countryside (Lakshmi's native village), the post interval bit transports the viewers to New Delhi and Indore for the most part.

In a strange twist of events, this film suffers from the curse of the first half. The norm these days has been to falter in the second half but Padman makes for an exception.

Its second half plays out far better than the first one. The plot, though, quickly dives into the central issue (after Arijit Singh's incredibly hummable 'Aaj Se Teri'), and I reckon Balki could have taken the cinematic liberty to chop off some stretched parts: he plays his best cards in the second half.

The cinematic liberty gains immense significance in this film because Muruganatham has given his consent (as per a discliamer preceding the film) to the makers to alter certain facts of his success story. The free hand has been fruitfully utilised in the second half. Now, it can be argued that Balki was more comfortable bringing his own inputs to the table, which is why the second half is constructed deftly. It can also be argued that Balki feels more at home projecting a mileu he is familiar with. In one of the best yet the most understated scenes of the film, he puts forward his writing genius through a freewheeling conversation between Sonam Kapoor's character and her father. This scene boasts of the trademark organic smoothness that his films like Cheeni Kum and Paa are known for.

Sonam's character is completely a figment of Balki's imagination. She plays a tabla player cum MBA student who acts as the catalyst in realising Lakshmi's vision. Balki draws her character sketch rather well. While the original text had a female character who played Muruganathan's English tutor, his language has been treated as a non-issue in the film. The focus is entirely on menstrual health, which is where the inclusion of Sonam's character benefits from.

Instead of a man picking a fight for his wife, like in Kumar's Toilet: Ek Prem Katha last year, the viewers see a woman take equal charge by providing the marketing and finance expertise to Lakshmi's idealistic vision, in Padman.

In one of the scenes, Sonam Kapoor also mentions how being a woman helps in initiating a conversation around periods. It is a smart move to allow space for a major female stakeholder in the process. Sonam, known for her oft feminist stance, fits into her character like a glove, but her limited acting skills do stand shy in front of a more experienced Akshay Kumar.

Still from Padman song 'Hu Ba Hu'. YouTube screengrab
But what her character is scarred with is a romantic angle with Kumar's character. Given that they look the best together when they are platonic, the inclusion of a love angle can be argued to be adhering to formulaic redundancies. In Muruganatham's story he confessed a romantic attraction towards his English tutor, but Balki could have easily chopped this bit out.

If Balki had to give a steeper character graph to one character, he should have given it to Radhika Apte. Her role is overtly melodramatic just like most of the other villagers. Balki stays true to the Bible here and even Apte conveniently plays to the gallery. It's not like Apte is wasted in the film, but she could have used her proficiency to bring more depth or quirks to her cliched character.

Amit Trivedi's fast-paced music lends an air of purpose to the film. The cinematography, besides promoting MP tourism, gives a sense of sorcery to Kumar's pad making process.

The costume designer chooses lighter tones for Kumar (because Padman), vermilion red for Radhika Apte (because blood) and loose printed outfits for Sonam (because South Delhi). The production design is one of the few elements in the first half that fare better than those in the second.

Overall, Padman packs in a lot of meat within 2.5 hours but most of it is the concentrated second half whereas the first one stands diluted. Balki's direction elevates the film almost as much as Kumar's charged portrayal. It is certainly one of the best in his career so far. An extra hoot to Padman for being the first mainstream film to dare address what has long been stuck between the legs. A small film (Phullu) did try to make its presence felt last year, but Padman has proved to be not only a bigger but a better film.
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Posted: 09 February 2018 at 2:55am | IP Logged

Box office India

Padman Has A Fair Start
Friday 09 February 2018 11.30 IST
Box Office India Trade Network
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Padman had a fair start of around 20-25%. The opening is similar to Toilet Ek Prem Katha in the big cities but a less in the smaller cities but this is expected as its a film for the ladies audience and the mass male audience is not likely to come on the first morning.

 

 

 

The film could still put up decent numbers in places like Gujarat, Rajasthan and MP despite not being for that audience as with Tiger Zinda Hai finished in these places and Padmaavat not playing it has an open field in these markets. The main markets will be the bigger cities and they can push the film over the weeeknd.

 

 

 

The film has an unusual theme and although is good for calling a film different and all that but the box office works in a different way and these themes take time and get accepted if the film has entertainment

 


 

The fair start here is due to Akshay Kumar otherwise this type of film could have been really struggling for initial numbers. Now the film is in a position to make good headway on Saturday and Sunday if the content is accepted and then it has the potential of a strong weekday run due to thw holidays.

 

 

 

The business on Sunday will be crucial as the Saturday jump will be there but Sunday has to follow up as that is when the families come out and the subject of the film can be awkward for the conservative family audience. This is where the film will need humour for the subject to be told in a light way so the family audiences accept the film.

 

 

 

If the strongest point of the film is Akshay Kumar, the weakest is the director as its actually impossible to think that a director with a story telling style of Paa, Cheeni Kum etc can give a big grosser unless it a huge budget which is not a the case here.

 

 

 

But there is a chance of a grosser here due to the star but obviously the story cant be told like the Cheeni Kum's of the world and has to be in a simplier format and easily understood

Ogreatone IF-Dazzler
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Posted: 09 February 2018 at 3:18am | IP Logged
Don't think much of this film
JackSparrowcraz IF-Dazzler
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Posted: 09 February 2018 at 4:18am | IP Logged

Akshay Kumar Delivers Gutsy Performance In Flawed But Well-Intentioned Film

Entertainment | Saibal Chatterjee | Updated: February 09, 2018 12:40 IST

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, Radhika Apte

Director: R Balki

Rating: 2.5 Stars (Out of 5)

The PadMan protagonist, modelled on grassroots innovator Arunachalam Murugananthamand played by Akshay Kumar, has a question for his nonplussed wife: you make such wonderful malpuas for me, why can't I make sanitary pads for you? The interesting, if rather odd, quid pro quo is necessitated by the serious health hazards that the newlywed village woman exposes herself to by using a filthy rag when she is on her period.

Lakshmikant Chauhan - yes, Arunachalam inexplicably morphs into a central Indian school dropout in R Balki's PadMan - buys a pack of sanitary pads. It costs a bomb. His wife, Gayatri (Radhika Apte), is aghast. We'll now have to forgo milk, she argues as she wonders why her mechanic-husband should fret over a 'woman's problem'. She swears by the community's reeti riwaaz (traditions) and segregates herself on those five days of the month. It is now the man's turn to look askance. Lakshmi, too, cannot fathom why sanitary pads are so expensive. Itni halki cheez ka itna bhaari daam kyun (Why should the price of something so light be so heavy), he asks the medicine store salesman. The latter has no answer. So Lakshmi resolves to device a way of producing cheaper napkins to prevent the family budget from going haywire and, of course, to protect his wife from harm.
 He runs into a series of hurdles: scepticism, superstition, ridicule, condemnation, and finally even banishment from the village. But he continues to chip away regardless. His obsession spells trouble. He is branded a mad man and eventually ostracized. His wife is yanked away from him, his mother threatens to leave home, and he is compelled to take off for Indore.

This, broadly speaking, is the first half of the 140-minute PadMan. Until the intermission, the film remains largely true to Arunachalam's real-life story. But despite the undeniable urgency of Lakshmi's onerous mission, neither the single-minded reformer nor the goal that he sets himself assumes the heft it should have.

This, however, has little to do with the overall quality of the film. PadMan is well-made; the writing (by the director himself with additional inputs from Swanand Kirkire) is generally neat; and both the cinematography (P.C. Sreeram) and the editing (Chandan Arora) are first-rate. PadMan is by no means a bad film hiding behind the cloak of social relevance.

The decision to relocate a Tamil Nadu story to a part of central India is the least damaging of the film's missteps. The most off-putting aspect of PadMan are its uneven tonal shifts: it goes back and forth between being earnest and facetious, when it isn't jarringly ceremonial.

Lakshmi, when he is down and out, receives a fair bit of help from a character that Balki injects into the plot - a talented female tabla player and MBA grad Pari Walia (Sonam Kapoor), who turns her back on the promise of a cushy career to become an active associate of the rural change agent.

Lakshmikant Chauhan is an ordinary man with extraordinary courage. The screenplay contrives a scene for Amitabh Bachchan, playing himself, to laud the hero's yeoman work. The Americans have Superman, Spider-Man and Batman, India has PadMan, he grandly declares at a National Innovation Fest in IIT Delhi. Riding on the famed baritone, it sounds great. But this sort of ersatz triumphalism seems out of place in a film about a common man who masterminded a real-life movement, sacrificing much - his wife, his mother, his village, his atma samman (self-respect) and 90,000 rupees, as Lakshmi himself enumerates - in the bargain.

As the film begins to wind down and Lakshmi inches ever closer to success with his low-cost sanitary napkins, he heads to the United Nations to deliver a talk. Playing on Pari's name, he acknowledges the role of a fairy who taught him how to fly. Getting the activist to share the credit with a woman is a canny move. It stops the film from being another Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, where it is a 'heroic' man who does all the heavy lifting in his mission to end open defecation in his village.
But even as it seems to be mindful of enforcing gender balance, PadMan reinforces standard Bollywood notions of masculinity. In one scene, Lakshmi asks: Ek aurat ki hifazat karne mein nakamayab insaan apne aapko mard kaise keh sakta hai (How can a man who fails to protect a woman call himself a man?)

In another scene, Gayatri says to her husband as he slips into one of his rare weaker moments: Aap mat roiye, mardon ka rona achcha nahi lagta (Don't cry, it isn't nice when a man sheds tears). Lakshmi, as the title song emphasizes, is a superhero of a different timbre, but he, too, has to subliminally subscribe to Hindi cinema's take on who and what a mard should be.

The romantic sub-plot between the married Lakshmi and the much younger Pari - suggested by the way of an abrupt kiss that the latter plants on the man's lips and then a tentative snuggle - does not work at all. The forced emotional tug only serves to extend the film by a few minutes but adds no real meat to it.

At one point in the film, Lakshmi berates Gayatri for not moving with the times. This is 2001, he points out. Rani Mukerji ke zamaane mein Devika Rani ki baat kar rahi ho (In the age of Rani Mukherji you are talking about Devika Rani), he quips. So it is safe to assume that what we see on the screen spans a decade and a half. Muruganantham won his Padma Shri in 2016: this is factored into Lakshmi's tale. But at no point does the film indicate the passage of time. Lakshmikant and his wife miraculously keep the process of ageing at bay and look exactly the same all through the film.
But these flaws apart, PadMan is a well-intentioned film that derives strength from Akshay Kumar's gusty performance although he isn't strictly the right fit for the role of a just-married man. Radhika Apte is, as always, a scene-stealer. She contributes majorly to ensuring that the exchanges between the protagonist and his wife do not veer into corniness. Sonam Kapoor, who surfaces well into the second half, makes the most of the limited opportunity.

2COMMENTS
While the character that Sonam plays is not only the first genuine user of Lakshmi's two-rupee pads, but also an associate who extends the sphere of his influence by roping in other women to form self-help groups, the actor is called upon to merely stand by and watch a 'mad genius' at work. It is easy to see that her presence is largely superfluous.

But PadMan isn't because the story just had to be told. It's been done before - in last year's low-budget Phullu and the unreleased I-Pad. Here, it is the canvas and the presence of an A-list star that makes the difference. A wide audience is guaranteed.
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Posted: 09 February 2018 at 4:21am | IP Logged

Padman Movie Review

Directed by R. Balki and starring Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte, this film wobbles precariously as it becomes more fiction than fact

Ratings:2/5

I never imagined I would see a Hindi film in which the hero, played by an A-list star, puts on a sanitary pad and then squats several times to make sure it sits right. So firstly, big applause to Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna for putting their might behind this incredible true story that puts periods and female hygiene in the spotlight.

Pad Man is the cinematic adaptation of the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a school drop-out from Coimbatore who invented a low-cost sanitary pad making machine. Twinkle first adapted it as a short story in her book The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad. Muruganantham revolutionized menstrual hygiene in the country. His story is extraordinary at one point, when no woman including his wife, was willing to give him genuine feedback, he did wear pads himself to test them. Honestly, if this wasn't true, you wouldn't believe it.

As long as Pad Man sticks to the fantastical true story, it holds. Within the first few minutes, director and co-writer R. Balki establishes that mechanic Lakshmikant Chauhan is unlike any other man in this village in Madhya Pradesh. He is extra-ordinarily caring and despite the lack of education, progressive. Lakshmi will create a cushioned cycle seat so that his wife can ride comfortably and devise a contraption for cutting onions so that she doesn't need to cry while doing it. When he discovers that she is using dirty cloth pieces during her period, he resolves to help not just her but all the women around him. But no good deed goes unpunished and Lakshmi finds himself cast out. It is declared that he is mansik roop se bimar  a madman.

Until the mid-way point, Pad Man has snatches of power and emotion. Some scenes feel like a labored public service announcement and the melodrama gets shrill in places but largely Balki and his co-writer Swanand Kirkire keep the story moving. Humour is used cleverly. And Akshay, with his toothy grin and determined earnestness, propels the narrative with the wonderful Radhika Apte providing strong support. Despite the broad strokes writing, this relationship grounds the narrative in an emotional reality. The locations in Madhya Pradesh are nicely captured by DOP P.C. Sreeram. There are lovely visuals of a line of neighboring homes, each with an identical verandah to which the women are banished when their period comes. And I enjoyed the title track by Amit Trivedi.

But Pad Man wobbles precariously as it becomes more fiction than fact. The writing gets unforgivably lazy. Especially with the character of Sonam Kapoor. She gets the thankless role of Pari a tabla player who becomes Lakshmi's first client and cheerleader. We are told that her tabla skills are so good that poore Madhya Pradesh ko hila diya' but after that tabla is never mentioned again. The romantic angle between Lakshmi and Pari is the weakest link in the film it's both unnecessary and unconvincing.

The story seems to disconnect from logic and reality. Amitabh Bachchan, credited as superhero Amitabh Bachchan, appears to give a speech on the innovative spirit of Indians. There is a montage of Lakshmi making his low-cost sanitary pad machine, which looks like a nicely lit undershirt commercial. And though Pad Man is firmly committed to women empowerment, some of the dialogue is painfully clumsy. At one point, a character says  mard hone ka maza ander ki aurat jagaane se hi aata hai.

Pad Man, a superman without the cape, is a memorable character. Like the real Pad Man, Lakshmi is self-deprecating and very funny especially in the climactic speech at the United Nations. I wish the film matched his sparkle.

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Posted: 09 February 2018 at 4:22am | IP Logged
Originally posted by Ogreatone

Don't think much of this film


Better films than Toilet. Give it a go

I liked it. Akshay was good.

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