Looking at the recent trends in Bollywood, big budget movies don’t seem to be free of controversies. After the Padmaavat issue, it’s Akshay Kumar’s PadMan that has landed into trouble. Abhishek Saxena, director of the movie Phullu has accused both Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna who is also the producer of the movie for making false claims.
As a part of the promotional strategy, Akshay Kumar and the team of PadMan is travelling all around the country promoting their film as the first movie ever made on the topic of menstruation and women sanitation. Abhishek stands against this claim saying, “The first film on periods and mensuration hygiene was Phullu. Even before the announcement of PadMan my film was already ready. I had the Censor Certificate as well, it was registered in 2015 itself.”
He then went on to drag Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in the issue claiming that they have been partial in the entire controversy and have been evidently inclined towards PadMan as opposed to his movie Phullu. He says that dealing with the same issue of menstruation, both the movies have got different treatment from CBFC. On one hand where his movie got an ‘A’ certificate from the board, PadMan has been given a ‘U/A’ certificate. About Phullu he adds, “there wasn’t a single portion that was adult but the CBFC told me that this “Menstruation” subject in itself is an “Adult” subject and they gave us an “A” certificate. They are being partial, because of the “A” certificate we faced so many losses.”
Abhishek makes it a point that both the movies had the agenda of educating the masses and making them aware of a relevant issue but because of the ‘A’ certification to his movie, he lost on a lot of eyeballs as they got limited.
The film’s producer Dr. Anmol Kapoor also had many points to make on the issue. Like Abhishek he also negates the claim of PadMan being the first movie on menstruation. He goes on to add, “I can understand that our movie was a small budget and PadMan is a bigger budget movie, but it should not given right of making false claims at the expense of various artists who worked in the movie Phullu. We support PadMan as it also tackles issue of menstrual hygiene and we hope that they can educate masses and help save lives. But, they shouldn’t be allowed to make false claims for cheap publicity and discredit years of hard work done by makers of Hindi movie Phullu. I would really appreciate if media could make their followers aware of false claims made by the producers of PadMan movie and help us fight rights of independent producers. We should be treating everyone equally”.
He also chides CBFC for their double standards in treating movies according to their budgets. “Both movies tackle same topic and have similar story line. Is it because someone had put pressure on CBFC to halt releasing of our movie Phullu in 2017? I do believe that Indians and Bollywood movie fans all over the world deserve an official statement from CBFC and officials should clarify why double standards for PadMan vs Phullu movie?”
While PadMan will hit the theaters on 9 February 2018, Phullu will have its first World television premiere on 24th January, 2018 at 7pm On DD National.