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PHULLU - The first gutsy Hindi film on the subject of women's menstrual cycle and the importance of 'Sanitary Pads', that sadly fails to become a path breaking eye-opener. (Review By Bobby Sing)

28 Jun, 2017 | Movie Reviews / 2017 Releases / ALL ABOUT INSPIRED MOVIES / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / P

It’s both sad and ironical that the film which was made with a worth praising intention of educating the young and old was given an A certificate by the Censor Board since it talked about women’s menstrual cycle and the importance of sanitary pads ensuring their healthy growth. The film was in news for this very reason but still could get only a few shows in some selected cities, further limiting its reach missing the target audience.
At the same time, another unfortunate fact remains that though made with all praiseworthy intentions of spreading an important message, PHULLU cannot be rated as any well-written or exceptionally executed film with the biggest merit remaining its noble cause along with a couple of sincere performances and one particular scene.
Directed by Abhishek Saxena, it begins on a promising note focusing on a truthful character called Phullu (Sharib Hashmi), a young man in his late 20s who regularly visits the town and brings sanitary pads and other stuff for the women in his village, but doesn’t exactly know about ‘periods’ or the use of those pads as an innocent youngster. He later gets seriously shocked knowing the details meeting a doctor in the city and realizes its grave importance after facing a personal tragedy at home.
Progressing with an unengaging kind of narration post its first 10 minutes, PHULLU has many major flaws restricting its mission and reach in terms of cinematic execution and storytelling. But thankfully it doesn’t have any preachy format and keeps trying to convey the message in a light, humorous yet responsible tone throughout.
Hashmi successfully carries the film on his shoulder trying his very best and he gets an appreciable support from Jyothii Sethi, Nutan Surya and the actress playing his mother too. However the most impressive and well-written sequence of the film is the one featuring Inaamulhaq in a cameo playing a fake but knowledgeable fakir. And the few lines in this particular scene reveal the ugly truth about our society and religion together without any hiding at all. 
Strictly talking about the women living in the rural regions (ignoring the city population) the project is certainly inspired from the life and works of Arunachalam Muruganantham who selflessly worked and came up with a form of affordable sanitary napkins benefitting the poor women, despite his limited education and available resources. The legendary man on whom an eye-opener documentary has also been made directed by Amit Virmani titled “Menstrual Man”. (Do check out the links shared in the end introducing the man and his works.) 
Overall, as an informative and enlightening work PHULLU unarguably deserves the credit for boldly talking about ‘the lesser talked about things’ widely considered as a taboo in both our rural and educated urban regions since ages. It rightly addresses an issue giving an important and much needed message ensuring better health and life. But I really wish it was a much appreciable work as a film too worth recommending to all, especially the growing kids. At present it just hangs somewhere in between a well-intentioned film and an essential documentary to be honest. Still would like to wholeheartedly appreciate director Abhishek Saxena and his producers for the noble effort made.
Ending on a different note, would seriously like to ask a simple logical question from our respected censor board that, 
“If a natural body development begins as early as 10-12 in a girl’s life…., about what she essentially needs to be informed in the right manner…….. then how come a film about the same becomes a ‘Strictly For Adults’ movie to be seen by only 18+?”

Rating : 2 + 1 / 5 (with the additional one specifically for the praiseworthy effort made spreading an important message)  

Though PHULLU becomes (probably) the first Hindi film released addressing this critical issue, there is one film by director Amit Rai already made waiting for its release titled I-PAD and reportedly Akshay Kumar is also coming up with his own bio-pic version of the same as PADMAN.

For more on Arunachalam Muruganantham, do check out the following links:

Arunachalam Muruganantham: India's Menstruation Man

Trailer of Menstrual Man - The Documentary

Tags : Phullu Review By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Hindi film on Sanitary Pads, Hindi film on menstrual cycle, Path breaking Hindi film on social subjects, Hindi film inspired by the life and works of Arunachalam Muruganantham.
28 Jun 2017 / Comment ( 0 )
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