I don’t understand one thing about Bollywood – don’t filmmakers ever look into what their colleagues are doing before they announce their new projects? And how come they always end up making at least two movies on the same issue and at the same time? We have still not got over that fiasco when at least half a dozen movies were made on freedom fighter Bhagat Singh’s life at around the same time, with two of them even releasing on the same date, and none of them working at the box office. Now, we hear that there are at least three movies being made on the Battle of Saragarhi, with Randeep Hooda, Ajay Devgn and Akshay Kumar playing the lead in each one of them. Strangely in another instance, Akshay Kumar finds himself competing with a less popular but super talented actor, Sharib Ali Hashmi this year, as both their movies are about the same subject – a biopic about an Indian man who made good sanitary napkins available at a cheap rate for the women in his village.
While Akshay Kumar’s movie is called Padman and is reported to be an official adaptation of the life of Padma Shri winner, Arunachalam Muruganantham, Sharib’s movie, Phullu, too, has used the idea but changed the setting and the characters. Sharib Ali Hashmi has earlier played Shah Rukh Khan’s friend in Jab Tak Hai Jaan, and the main lead in the critically acclaimed Filmistaan. In Phullu, he plays a village guy who goes to the city and comes to know about the existence of sanitary napkins. When he wonders why the women in his village never use them, it is then that he realises that they thought the napkins are only for the rich as they cannot afford. From that moment he decides to go back to his village and make affordable napkins for them. The trailer shows the difficulties he has to face with his new profession as the women in his household can’t accept the fact that he makes sanitary napkins.
While the trailer looks interesting, despite the lack of stars (something Padman has to its advantage – Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, Radhika Apte and Amitabh Bachchan), I loved the dialogue towards the end that goes, ‘jo aurat ka dard nahi samajhta, bhagwan usse mard nahi samajhta!’ (Those who doesn’t understand the pain of women, God doesn’t consider them as men).
Watch the trailer here…
Phullu is directed by Abhishek Saxena and is scheduled to release on June 16.