Akshay Kumar’s next content-driven film PadMan, also starring Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte in the lead roles, releases on January 26 next year. Inspired by the life of Coimbatore-based Arunachalam Muruganantham, who found a way to natively manufacture affordable sanitary napkins for the women of his village, the film is being presented by Akshay’s wife Twinkle Khanna.
In a newly released poster of PadMan, Akshay can be seen holding hands with Radhika Apte, who plays the on-screen wife of his character, Lakshmikanth. In the past years, Akshay has become a champion of sorts for earthy, true-to-life characters, be it his Jolly LLB 2’s Jagdish Mishra or Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’s Keshav or a dutiful businessman in Airlift or a patriotic and proud Naval Officer in Rustom. And that is one of the major reasons why Akshay seems so convincing in his act as Arunachalam in the teasers. Even Radhika is effortlessly taking up the role of his wife, a small-town, sensible companion by her husband’s side.
It seems like Akshay Kumar has switched his genre of films for good. From being a soldier in Holiday to social activist is PadMan, the actor is constantly delivering films based on patriotism and society. In Baby he was a secret agent who is on a team to eliminate the possibility of another terrorist attack after 2008 in India. The film was well received by the critics and the diversion of Akshay Kumar’s genre of movies occurred. In the next film, Gabbar is Back, he Akshay Kumar targeted corrupt policeman as vigilante. Next film, Brothers, was on sports. Next content-driven film was Airlift where he re-portrayed the anguish of Indians stuck in Kuwait in 1990 when Iraq invaded. It was based on the evacuation of Indians done by Mathunny Mathews and Air India in 1990 from Kuwait. Next in line was Rustom. It was again a recreation of a real-life incident in which the Naval Officer killed his wife’s lover when he refused to accept her and later surrendered. Then Akshay did Jolly LLB 2 in which he was a lawyer defending the man who was killed in a fake encounter. After that, he did Toilet – Ek Prem Katha. The film is a satirical comedy in support of governmental campaigns to improve the sanitation conditions, with an emphasis on the eradication of open defecation, especially in rural areas.
Image source: Google
This change cannot be called a metamorphism as in the past, he did movies with social content. Movies like Special 26 was based on a real-life incident of a fraud. Oh My God was conversion of Kanji-vs.-Kanji drama in which he plays the role of Krishna. He was a proud Indian in Namaste London, a Naval officer in Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyon, and a police officer in Khakee.
The only thing that has changed is his frequency and maturity of content-driven films. The response he is getting is an indication that Indian viewers have matured time and appreciate this type of cinema too. But this is just the bright of the viewers. Here also the name sells and many other films like Masaan, Udaan, A Wednesday, Gulaal, etc. get shadowed due to unavailability of big stars. Indians as viewers are just reaching its adolescence in its maturity. Let’s see how we take PadMan.