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Pad Man (film)

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Pad Man
The poster features Akshay Kumar dressed in white.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byR. Balki
Produced by
Written by
Based onShort story "The Sanitary Man of Sacred Land" from the novel The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad
by Twinkle Khanna
Narrated byAmitabh Bachchan
Music byAmit Trivedi
CinematographyP. C. Sreeram
Edited byChandan Arora
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • 9 February 2018 (2018-02-09) (India & Russia)[1][2][3]
  • 14 December 2018 (2018-12-14) (China)
Running time
140 minutes
Budget76 crore[4]
Box officeest. ₹216.57 crore

Pad Man is a 2018 Indian comedy drama film[5] directed and written by R. Balki, featuring Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte in lead roles, Inspired by the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social entrepreneur from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. 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.[6]

Pad Man was released theatrically on February 9th, 2018. It grossed 216.57 crore (US$31.73 million) worldwide, thus becoming the ninth highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2018. Kumar's performance in the film was critically praised, for which he received a Best Actor nomination at the 64th Filmfare Awards.


The story starts with the marriage of Lakshmikant "Laxmi" Chauhan (Akshay Kumar) and Gayatri (Radhika Apte). Laxmi 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. He is worried seeing Gayatri using an unhygenic rag during her periods. Gayatri tells him he should not interfere in this feminine topic. Undeterred, Laxmi buys sanitary pads for his wife, which are rather costly. Gayatri tells him to return it, as using such costly napkins means cutting off milk expenses. Crestfallen, Laxmi goes to work, where a worker gets injured. He immediately applies a pad to the injury, despite the others referring to it as 'impure'. The doctor lauds Laxmi's quick thinking and says that it is the cleanest choice to stop bleeding. Excited, Laxmi 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 again tries to make a pad, and gives it to a female medical student, who decides to help him out but is deterred by her friends. To add to his woes, his meeting with the student makes his wife think that he has an affair. Laxmi tries to give his sister pads, which leads to embarrassment in front of her in-laws. Next, he tries it on himself by attaching a balloon filled with goat blood, which leads to him getting blood all over his trousers in public, resulting in humiliation. This act causes him to be branded 'a man with loose morals' by the entire village. Gayatri's brothers take her away and Laxmi decides to leave, pledging to fight the taboo surrounding menstruation.

After learning that sanitary pads use the more absorbent cellulose fibre rather than cotton, Laxmi goes to a college to gain knowledge about the materials used in sanitary napkins. In need of money and shelter, he works as a manservant in a professor's house. The professor's son introduces him to the Internet and helps him get information. The professor is baffled by Laxmi's actions and shows him videos of pad-making machines worth millions to derail his ideas. It has the opposite effect: Laxmi is inspired by this to make his own pad-making machine. He borrows money and manages to make a good pad but has no one to test it. He ends up meeting Pari Walia (Sonam Kapoor), a modern, educated woman from the city, and supplies a pad to her. When he asks for feedback, she says that it's like a normal pad. Laxmi's joy knows no bounds and he calls Gayatri to give her the news. Gayatri gets upset at his obsession with menstruation, and her brother warns him to stay away.

Pari sees Laxmi's potential and invites him to an innovation fair in Delhi. Laxmi's invention is recognized as the 'Life-Changing Innovation of the Year' and he shoots to fame but the villagers, on realizing the nature of his invention, insult him. Pari helps a dejected Laxmi sell his pads to rural women, who later join him in his venture. Laxmi and Pari travel from village to village, making low-cost pad-manufacturing machines, creating small pad-making factories, and providing rural women both jobs and pads for sale. He is invited to New York and gives a speech at UNICEF. Back home, he is awarded the Padmashri. Pari falls in love with him, which makes Laxmi conflicted as he has feelings for her too. However, she steps back for his happiness, with Laxmi telling her she helped make him a new man. Laxmi returns to a hero's welcome in his village. The film ends with Laxmi and Gayatri finally uniting, and Laxmi finding continued success with his endeavors.




I didn't want to make a documentary, I wanted to make a commercial film so people can see it. It's a film you can take your children to, even though it talks about sanitary pads. It's a universal subject. Nobody has ever tried to touch this subject.

Akshay Kumar[7]

The film is based on "The Sanitary Man of Sacred Land", a short story from Twinkle Khanna's book, The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad,[8] 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.[9][10][11] 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.[12] Furthermore, it was a plea towards politicians to drive their attention towards sanitary pads and making it mandatory across institutions.[13]

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).[13] 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."[13] 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.[7]

R. Balki was Khanna's first choice to direct the film. She had previously seen Balki's work and appreciated his sensitivity in filmmaking.[14]

In November 2017, Sony Pictures became the global distributor for the film.[15]


Akshay Kumar plays Arunachalam Muruganantham, also known as "India's Menstrual Man".[7][13] Kumar was not the first choice to play the role.[16][14] Khanna thought of a few actors but she eventually handed it to Kumar after Muruganantham's insistence[14] 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.[17]


Pad Man is only the second Bollywood film to be granted access to shoot the film inside the headquarters of the United Nations in New York City, after Half Girlfriend in 2016.

Pre-production began in March 2017,[18] and principal photography commenced on 14 March.[19] Filming moved to Delhi in April.[20] Muruganantham 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.[13]

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,[13] 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.[21]


The film was initially planned to be released on 13 April 2018,[22] but was later moved to 26 January.[7][23] 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.[1] 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.[24]

Pad Man is scheduled to be released across 3350 screens worldwide; 2750 screens in India and 600 screens overseas.[25] 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.[12]

In China, it released on 14 December 2018, with Chinese title "印度合伙人"[26] (Yìndù héhuǒ rén), which translates as "Indian Partner".[27] The film was released in Japan by Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan on 7 December 2018, with the title "パッドマン 5億人の女性を救った男"[28] (Paddo man: 5 oku-ri no josei o sukutta otoko), which translates as "Padman: A man who saved 500 million women".[29]


The first trailer was released on 15 December 2017.[30] 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.[31] 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".[16]


Padman 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.[32][33][34] Some Pakistani women have protested these decisions by sending pictures of them holding sanitary pads to the censor board.[35]


Box office[edit]

Market(s) Gross revenue
India ₹104.9 crore[36] ($16.11 million)
Overseas $15,617,101 (₹101.67 crore)
China $10.1 million[37] (₹66.91 crore)[38]
Japan ¥73,576,400 – ₹4.8 crore[39] ($737,101)
Other territories $4.78 million[36] (₹31.12 crore)
Worldwide ₹206.57 crore ($31.73 million)

Pad Man earned a modest 10.26 crore (US$1.5 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$2.3 million) and 16.11 crore (US$2.3 million) respectively. In total, it earned 40.05 crore (US$5.8 million) nett (US$7.9 million gross) over its opening weekend.[40][41]

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.[41]

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).[41]

In China, where Pad Man released on 14 December 2018, the film grossed $5.2 million in its opening weekend, entering the box office charts at number three, below Hollywood film Aquaman and Japanese anime film My Neighbour Totoro.[42] As of 30 December 2018, Pad Man has grossed $10.1 million[37] (₹66.91 crore) in China.[38]

Pad Man entered Japan also, it is not a traditional market for Indian films. It is running in seventh week in 23 locations. It has grossed ₹4.8 crore.[39]

Critical reception[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 85% based on 13 reviews, and an average rating of 6.7/10.[43] 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".[44]

Awards and nominations[edit]

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 [45]
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 [46]
Best Director R. Balki Won
Best Actor Akshay Kumar Won


Soundtrack album by
Released26 December 2017 (2017-12-26)[47]
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelZee Music Company
Amit Trivedi chronology
Secret Superstar
External audio
Audio Jukebox on YouTube

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.

All lyrics written by Kausar Munir; all music composed by Amit Trivedi.

Track listing
1."Aaj Se Teri"Arijit Singh5:12
2."The Pad Man Song"Mika Singh3:23
3."Hu Ba Hu"Amit Trivedi3:36
4."Saale Sapne"Mohit Chauhan4:42
5."Sayaani"Yashita Sharma, Jonita Gandhi, Yashika Sikka, Rani Kaur4:10
Total length:21:03

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b "PadMan not to clash with Padmaavat, Akshay Kumar's film postponed to February 9". Hindustan Times. 19 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Akshay Kumar's Pad Man to now release on January 25". Deccan Chronicle. 5 January 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)Padman-budget-76cr
  5. ^ "Pad Man (2018) - R. Balki". AllMovie.
  6. ^ Mazumder, Jayeeta. "Padman: The un-caped hero in Twinkle Khanna's book". T2 Online.
  7. ^ a b c d "Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar will be in a new feminist movie about menstrual pads". Business Insider. 18 December 2017. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  8. ^ "Padman: Akshay Kumar shares a happy new poster, reveals release date". Hindustan Times. 29 October 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Meet Arunachalam Muruganantham the man who wore a sanitary pad to break a taboo". The Economics Times. 24 April 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  10. ^ "Padman first look: After building toilets, Akshay Kumar takes on menstrual hygiene". Hinddustan Times. 3 August 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Padman: Akshay Kumar shares a happy new poster, reveals release date". Hindustan Times. 29 October 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  12. ^ a b "Akshay Kumar on Padman: Our aim is to create awareness with the film, not earn money". 21 December 2017. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Jones, Abigail (19 December 2017). "Why King of Bollywood Akshay Kumar Made A Movie About Menstruation". News Room. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  14. ^ a b c Hiro, Sneha (20 December 2017). "Twinkle Khanna: Akshay Kumar Was Not The First Choice For Padman". Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  15. ^ Cain, Rob. "Hollywood's Sony Pictures Joins Akshay Kumar's 'Padman' As Global Distributor". Forbes. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  16. ^ a b "Akshay Kumar has million tales to tell in new 'PadMan' poster". The Times of India. 22 December 2017. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  17. ^ A. Kameshwari (25 December 2017). "The PadMan Song: Akshay Kumar tells why you need to be a madman to become a superhero, watch video". The Indian Express. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  18. ^ "Pictures: Akshay Kumar and Radhika Apte start Padman shoot in Indore". Deccan Chronicle. 17 March 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  19. ^ "SEE PIC: Akshay begins shooting for Padman, wife Twinkle joins him on the sets". India Today. 14 March 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  20. ^ Indo-Asian News Service (15 April 2017). "Amitabh Bachchan shoots cameo for Padman in Delhi". The Indian Express. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  21. ^ "Akshay Kumar's PadMan to be shot at United Nations headquarters". Pakistan Today. 19 November 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  22. ^ "Akshay Kumar's 'Padman' gets a release date". The Times of India. 4 August 2017. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  23. ^ "Akshay Kumar's 'Padman' gets a release date". The Hans India. 30 October 2017. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  24. ^ Shah, Aashna (22 December 2017). "Akshay Kumar On PadMan And Aiyaary: There Is No Box Office Clash". NDTV. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  25. ^ "Taran Adarsh tweet". Twitter. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  26. ^ "《印度合伙人》登陆中国影院 观众不看的三个原因_电影". Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  27. ^ "印度合伙人". Google Translate. Google. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  28. ^ "映画『パッドマン 5億人の女性を救った男』オフィシャルサイト". Official Site. Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  29. ^ "パッドマン 5億人の女性を救った男". Google Translate. Google. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  30. ^ News 18 (15 December 2017). "PadMan Trailer: Akshay Kumar as 'Pagla Superhero' is Set To Break All Stereotypes". News 18. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  31. ^ Nijhawan, Meghna (15 December 2017). "Thanks To 'PadMan' Trailer, Twitter Is Discussing... Wait For It... Periods". NDTV. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  32. ^ "Akshay Kumar's Padman won't release in Pakistan". Samaa TV. 9 February 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  33. ^ Lodhi, Adnan (10 February 2018). "Shocking: 'PadMan' banned in Pakistan". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  34. ^ "Why Pad Man, Padmavaat and Veere Di Wedding Were Banned In Kuwait". Bollywood Over Hollywood. 14 June 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  35. ^ "Pakistani Women Are Sending Pads To The Censor Board". Mangobaaz. 13 February 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  36. ^ a b "Pad Man Box Office Collection till Now- Bollywood Hungama". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  37. ^ a b "Padman". EntGroup. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  38. ^ a b "China box office: Pad Man collects USD 0.14 million on Day 14; closes business in China at Rs. 66.91 cr". Bollywood Hungama. 29 December 2018.
  39. ^ a b Adarsh, Taran [@taran_adarsh] (21 January 2019). "#PadMan gains momentum over the weekend in #Japan... Currently running in Week 7... 23 locations this week [18 locations last week]... Fri ¥ 336,500 Sat ¥ 823,900 Sun ¥ 860,200 Total till 20 Jan 2019: ¥ 73,576,400 [₹ 4.80 cr] @comScore" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  40. ^ Taran Adarsh. "Taran Adarsh tweet". Twitter. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  41. ^ a b c Brooks, Brian (11 February 2018). "2018 Oscar Shorts' Take $615K; 'Golden Exits' Has Solid Bow; 'Darkest Hour' Crosses $50M: Specialty Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  42. ^ "China's No. 2 Film This Weekend Was Hayao Miyazaki's 'My Neighbor Totoro'". Variety. 17 December 2018.
  43. ^ "Pad Man (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  44. ^ "PadMan movie review: Akshay Kumar talks about menstrual hygiene in a 'loud' but clear voice". 8 February 2018.
  45. ^ "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.
  46. ^ "Indian Film Festival Melbourne". Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  47. ^ "Padman (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". iTunes.

External links[edit]