Pad Man (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||R. Balki|
Short story "The Sanitary Man of Sacred Land" from the novel The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad|
by Twinkle Khanna
|Narrated by||Amitabh Bachchan|
|Music by||Amit Trivedi|
|Cinematography||P. C. Sreeram|
|Edited by||Chandan Arora|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Budget||₹20 crore (200 million)|
|Box office||₹120 crore (1.2 billion) |
Pad Man is a 2018 Indian biographical drama film directed and written by R. Balki, featuring Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte in lead roles. It is based on the short story "The Sanitary Man of Sacred Land" in Twinkle Khanna's book The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad, which is inspired by the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social activist from Tamil Nadu who introduced low-cost sanitary pads. The film was released theatrically on 9 February 2018.
The story starts with the marriage of Lakshmikant Chauhan (Akshay Kumar) and Gayatri (Radhika Apte), a happy go lucky couple. Lakshmikant is deeply in love with his wife and will do anything for her comfort and happiness. When Gayatri is temporarily banished from the household during her menstrual periods, Laxmi is caught unaware due to his lack of knowledge about the subject which is otherwise referred to as 'five day test match for women' by the village youth. Laxmi makes his peace with it but gets worried on seeing Gayatri using a dirty rag during her periods. When asked about it, Gayatri tells him it's none of his business and he, being a 'pure' human should not interfere in this feminine topic. Undeterred, Laxmi goes to a medical store and buys sanitary pads for his wife which cost Rs.55. When he reaches home and hands it over to Gayatri, she reprimands him and tells him to return it as using such costly napkins meant cutting off milk expenses of a month. Unable to return it, Laxmi, crestfallen, goes to work where a worker gets injured. He immediately applies a pad to the injury despite the others referring to it as 'impure'. In the hospital, the doctor lauds Laxmi's quick thinking and says that it is the cleanest choice to stop bleeding. Excited, Laxmi then buys some cotton, cloth and glue and makes a temporary pad which he thinks is a better replacement for the costly one.
Gayatri uses it but the pad fails in its function and she tells Laxmi to not interfere in women's matters again. Laxmi disregards her, again tries to make a pad, and attempts to give it to a neighbor girl which again creates a mess. He then gives it to a medical student who decides to help him out but is deterred by her friends. To add to his woes, the meeting of Laxmi and the medical student is spotted by his close relative which makes his wife think that Laxmi has an extramarital affair. Laxmi visits his sister and tries to give her pads which leads to embarrassment in front of her in-laws. Gayatri then makes Laxmi promise to not involve anyone in this mess anymore. Adhering to her words and yet unwilling to let go of the issue, Laxmi then tries it on himself by attaching a balloon filled with goat blood borrowed from a friend, which leads to Laxmi getting blood stains on trousers in public resulting in humiliation. This act causes him to be branded a 'pervert' and a 'man with loose morals' by the entire village. Gayatri's brothers take her away and Laxmi decides to leave the village, pledging to fight the taboo surrounding menstruation.
After learning that sanitary pads use the more absorbent cellulose fibre rather than cotton, Laxmi then goes to a college to gain knowledge about the materials used in sanitary napkins. In need of money and shelter, he ends up working as a manservant in a professor's house. The professor's son introduces him to the internet and helps him get every piece of information. He places an order for cellulose fibre for sanitary pad with an international company. The professor is baffled by Laxmi's actions and shows him videos of pad making machines worth crores to derail his ideas. Instead, Laxmi decides to make his own pad vending machine and leaves the house. He borrows money for his machine and then manages to make a near perfect pad but has no one to test it. By a chance of events, he meets Pari Walia (Sonam Kapoor), and supplies a pad to her. The next day, Laxmi visits her and asks her for feedback. Shocked, she says that it was just like other normal pads. His joy knows no bounds and he calls Gayatri to give her the news. Gayatri, however, gets upset at his obsession with menstruation and her brother warn Laxmi to stay away from them.
Meanwhile, Pari invites him to an innovation fair in IIT-Delhi with the winner receiving Rs.2,00,000 as prize money. Laxmi's invention is recognized as the 'Life-changing Innovation of the Year' and he is honoured and felicitated. He shoots to fame but the villagers, on realising the nature of his invention, badmouth and insult him. His machine is patented and Pari helps him reach out to and sell his pads to the rural women, who later join him, in his pad making venture under the brand name 'Pari'. Laxmi proceeds to make more low cost sanitary pad manufacturing machines for sale to rural women. He is invited to New York and gives a speech in UNICEF which makes him popular. Back home, he is awarded the Padmashri. Pari falls in love with him but then dismisses her own feelings for his happiness. Laxmi returns to a hero's welcome in his village. The film ends with Laxmi and Gayatri finally uniting and Pari leaving with happy memories of Laxmi.
- Akshay Kumar as Lakshmikant Chauhan
- Sonam Kapoor as Pari Walia
- Radhika Apte as Gayatri Chauhan
- Riva Bubber as Tinku's mother
- Urmila Mahanta as Savitri
- Amitabh Bachchan as Himself in a cameo appearance
The film is based on "The Sanitary Man of Sacred Land", a short story from Twinkle Khanna's book, The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad, which is inspired from the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a Tamil Nadu-based social activist who revolutionized the concept of menstrual hygiene in rural India by creating a low-cost sanitary napkin machine. Pad Man was envisioned to be an awareness film without focusing on commercial aspects. The producers' main agenda was to reach out to a wide audience to create awareness and eradicate prevalent superstitions in India surrounding sanitary pads. As with Kumar's previous film, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, he hoped to educate the masses, both women and men, about menstrual hygiene and to stop labelling it as stigma or taboo in society. Furthermore, it was a plea towards politicians to drive their attention towards sanitary pads and making it mandatory across institutions.
The idea to adapt Murugan's life began in 2015 when Twinkle Khanna came across his story while doing a research for a column in The Times of India. Inspired and moved by his persistence and determination, she wrote about him in her book, The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad (2016). Later, she planned to adapt his life to the big screen in order to reach out to more audiences, saying "our world is filled with viewers, not readers." Khanna, who also serves as a producer on the film, said she was drawn to the project due to its relevant yet underrated subject about menstruation and Muruganantham's determination.
In November 2017, Sony Pictures became the global distributor for the film.
Akshay Kumar plays Arunachalam Muruganantham, also known as "India's Menstrual Man". Kumar was not the first choice to play the role. Khanna thought of a few actors but she eventually handed it to Kumar after Murugan's insistence and because she thought it would be a game-changing event if Kumar, who the Indian public idolises and men look up to, wore a sanitary pad.
Pre-production began in March 2017, and principal photography commenced on March 14. Filming moved to Delhi in April. Murugan worked closely with Kumar and Khanna on set in India, making sure every detail was accurate from the way he built his machine, to how to operate it, even his own posture. 
Majority of the film was shot in a small town beside Narmada river named, Maheshwar in Madhya Pradesh. After filming ended in India, the team travelled to New York City where pivotal scenes were filmmed in Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square and Jazz at Lincoln Center, as well as the United Nations headquarter. It is the second Bollywood film to be shot at the site following Half Girlfriend while Hollywood film The Interpreter was the first.
The film was initially planned to be released on 13 April 2018, but was later moved to 26 January. However, on 19 January, it was announced that the film has been postponed to 9 February 2018 to avoid clashing with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmaavat. Regarding the possible box office clash with Aiyaary which was to release on the same day, Kumar denounced the tension saying that it was unlikely since both films have different subjects and themes.
Pad Man is scheduled to be released across 3350 screens worldwide; 2750 screens in India and 600 screens overseas. Being a social issue based film, the producer's are planning to show the film in various schools in smaller towns and cities with the aid of various ministries and the government.
The first trailer was released on 15 December 2017. Soon after, the trailer began trending on Twitter with the hashtag #PadManTrailer. Scenes showing Kumar casually trying to wear a sanitary napkin and handing them to his sister became a trending topic. A second poster was released on 25 December which shows Kumar holding cotton in his hand with words like "Fighter, Genius, Innovation, Unreal Man, No Shame, Real Problem and Passion" written all around. The Times of India called it a "unique poster".
The film was banned in Kuwait and Pakistan due to its subject revolving around a taboo. Central Board of Film Censors, Pakistan refused to give the No-Objection Certificate to the film and said, "we cannot allow a film whose name, subject and story are not acceptable yet in our society." They disallowed the Pakistani film distributors IMGC and HKC to purchase the film rights and stated that they were "ruining Islamic traditions, history and culture." Film posters were also removed from the local cinemas. Some Pakistani women have protested these decisions by sending pictures of them holding sanitary pads to the censor board.
Pad Man earned a modest ₹10.26 crore (US$1.4 million) on its opening day in India. Buoyed by good word of mouth, the film witnessed gradual momemtum on its second and third day earning ₹16.11 crore (US$2.2 million) and ₹16.11 crore (US$2.2 million) respectively. In total, it earned ₹40.05 crore (US$5.6 million) nett (US$7.9 million gross) over its opening weekend.
Outside India, the film debuted simultaneously with its domestic debut in 5 international markets which generated around an estimated US$1 million for a worldwide opening of US$8.9 million.
In the United States and Canada, Pad Man grossed US$760,000 at an average of US$5,000 per screen from 152 screens. Sony noted that the film debuted above the opening of Kumar's Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, which debuted with US$678,000 from 176 theaters (US$3,852 per theater average).
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 92% based on 12 reviews, and an average rating of 6.7/10. Hindustan Times rated the film 3/5 stars, writing that "PadMan begins on [a] slow note and drags on for some time before picking up [the] pace. The characters in the supporting cast seem to be in a race for overacting".
Awards and nominations
|Date of ceremony||Awards||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref.|
|29 April 2018||DadaSaheb Phalke Film Foundation Awards||Best Actress in a Leading Role||Sonam Kapoor||Won|||
|Best Director||R. Balki||Won|
|Best Actor in a Leading Role||Akshay Kumar||Won|
|10 August 2018||Indian Film Festival of Melbourne||Best Film||Pad Man||Pending|||
|Best Director||R. Balki||Pending|
|Best Actor||Akshay Kumar||Pending|
|Soundtrack album by Amit Trivedi|
|Released||26 December 2017|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Label||Zee Music Company|
|Amit Trivedi chronology|
The music of the film was composed by Amit Trivedi while the lyrics were written by Kausar Munir. The first track, "Aaj Se Teri", which is sung by Arijit Singh, was released on 20 December 2017. The second track, "The Pad Man Song", sung by Mika Singh, was released on 25 December 2017. The music of the film was officially released by Zee Music Company on 26 December 2017.
|1.||"Aaj Se Teri"||Arijit Singh||5:12|
|2.||"The Pad Man Song"||Mika Singh||3:23|
|3.||"Hu Ba Hu"||Amit Trivedi||3:36|
|4.||"Saale Sapne"||Mohit Chauhan||4:42|
|5.||"Sayaani"||Yashita Sharma, Jonita Gandhi, Yashika Sikka, Rani Kaur||4:10|
- "PadMan not to clash with Padmaavat, Akshay Kumar's film postponed to February 9". Hindustan Times. 19 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- "Akshay Kumar's Pad Man to now release on January 25". Deccan Chronicle. 5 January 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
- Kumar, Akshay [@akshaykumar] (6 February 2018). "Happy to share, our film #PadMan becomes the first Bollywood film to be released in Russia on the same day and date. So Russia, see you at the movies on 9th February, 2018! @padmanthefilm @SonyPicsIndia @radhika_apte @mrsfunnybones @SonyPicsIndia @kriarj #RBalki" (Tweet). Retrieved 1 March 2018 – via Twitter.
- Hungama, Bollywood (13 February 2018). "Box Office: Pad Man collects approx Rs. 5.87 cr. on Day 4 - Bollywood Hungama".
- Hungama, Bollywood (10 February 2018). "Box Office: Worldwide collections and day wise breakup of Akshay Kumar's Pad Man - Bollywood Hungama". Retrieved 12 February 2018.
- Akshay Kumar on Aiyaary vs PadMan: Neeraj is a dear friend, there is no ‘clash’
- Mazumder, Jayeeta. "Padman: The un-caped hero in Twinkle Khanna's book". T2 Online.
- "Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar will be in a new feminist movie about menstrual pads". Business Insider. December 18, 2017. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
- "Padman: Akshay Kumar shares a happy new poster, reveals release date". Hindustan Times. 2017-10-29. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
- "Meet Arunachalam Muruganantham the man who wore a sanitary pad to break a taboo". The Economics Times. 2017-04-24. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
- "Padman first look: After building toilets, Akshay Kumar takes on menstrual hygiene". Hinddustan Times. 2017-08-03. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
- "Padman: Akshay Kumar shares a happy new poster, reveals release date". Hindustan Times. 2017-10-29. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
- "Akshay Kumar on Padman: Our aim is to create awareness with the film, not earn money". December 21, 2017. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
- Abigail Jones (December 19, 2017). "Why King of Bollywood Akshay Kumar Made A Movie About Menstruation". News Room. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
- Sneha Hiro (December 20, 2017). "Twinkle Khanna: Akshay Kumar Was Not The First Choice For Padman". Koimoi.com. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
- Cain, Rob. "Hollywood's Sony Pictures Joins Akshay Kumar's 'Padman' As Global Distributor". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-11-23.
- "Akshay Kumar has million tales to tell in new 'PadMan' poster". The Times of India. December 22, 2017. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
- A. Kameshwari (December 25, 2017). "The PadMan Song: Akshay Kumar tells why you need to be a madman to become a superhero, watch video". The Indian Express. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
- "Pictures: Akshay Kumar and Radhika Apte start Padman shoot in Indore". Deccan Chronicle. 2017-03-17. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
- "SEE PIC: Akshay begins shooting for Padman, wife Twinkle joins him on the sets". India Today. March 14, 2017. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
- Indo-Asian News Service (2017-04-15). "Amitabh Bachchan shoots cameo for Padman in Delhi". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2017-04-16.
- "Akshay Kumar's PadMan to be shot at United Nations headquarters". Pakistan Today. November 19, 2017. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
- "Akshay Kumar's 'Padman' gets a release date". The Times of India. August 4, 2017. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- "Akshay Kumar's 'Padman' gets a release date". The Hans India. October 30, 2017. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- Aashna Shah (December 22, 2017). "Akshay Kumar On PadMan And Aiyaary: There Is No Box Office Clash". NDTV. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
- "Taran Adarsh tweet". Twitter. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
- News 18 (15 December 2017). "PadMan Trailer: Akshay Kumar as 'Pagla Superhero' is Set To Break All Stereotypes". News 18. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
- Meghna Nijhawan (December 15, 2017). "Thanks To 'PadMan' Trailer, Twitter Is Discussing... Wait For It... Periods". NDTV. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
- "Akshay Kumar's Padman won't release in Pakistan". Samaa TV. 9 February 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
- Adnan Lodhi (10 February 2018). "Shocking: 'PadMan' banned in Pakistan". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
- "Why Pad Man, Padmavaat and Veere Di Wedding Were Banned In Kuwait". Bollywood Over Hollywood. 14 June 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
- "Pakistani Women Are Sending Pads To The Censor Board". Mangobaaz. 13 February 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
- Taran Adarsh. "Taran Adarsh tweet". Twitter. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
- Brian Brooks (February 11, 2018). "2018 Oscar Shorts' Take $615K; 'Golden Exits' Has Solid Bow; 'Darkest Hour' Crosses $50M: Specialty Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
- "Pad Man (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- "PadMan movie review: Akshay Kumar talks about menstrual hygiene in a 'loud' but clear voice". 8 February 2018.
- "DadaSaheb Phalke Film Foundation Awards 2018: Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor Bags Best Actor Awards - SKJ Bollywood News". SKJ Bollywood News. 25 April 2018. Archived from the original on 26 April 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
- "Indian Film Festival Melbourne". www.iffm.com.au. Retrieved 2018-07-13.
- "Padman (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". iTunes.