Even as Padman is making news, Phullu starring Sharib Ali Hashmi and Jyotii Sethi is releasing this week. Phullu, the protagonist, aims to making low cost sanitary napkins to make the lives of the women around him easier. The idea is to remove the taboo around menstruation by educating people. “We made this film so that it could reach to a lot of people, especially in the rural areas,” says Sharib Hashmi showing his disappointment on his film getting an A certificate. When you see that a movie has been certified A, most people hesitate to watch it. We want people to stop being hesitant and talk about this topic. “By rating this movie as adult, the CBFC has definitely cut our hands and created a road block for the movie,” emphasised Sharib on the importance of this movie reaching the masses.
“My mom used to change the channel whenever any sanitary pad advertisement used to come; the first sanitary napkin ad I saw was after my marriage!” quips Sharib. This is what Phullu is trying to break. There are number of women who do not have access to proper sanitation and cannot afford purchasing pads because of their high cost. These women are forced to use old rags and are forced to the confines of their homes.
“I believe that women who cannot afford these basic amenities should be provided with sanitary napkins for free,” says Jyotii.
“Meanwhile,” Sharib chips in, “We are trying to make our movie tax free.” The Filmistan actor says, people have been confusing Phullu with Padman . “Padman is a biopic on the life on Arunachalam Muruganantham whereas Phullu is a fictionalised account. The only similarity between Padman and Phullu is the theme of the movie and the message it is trying to convey.”
Director Abhishek Saxena went to numerous villages to conduct surveys. Only after an extensive research did they begin writing the script. “I personally did a lot of research on the topic of menstruation before I started playing the character of Phullu,” says Sharib.
He admits that menstruation is a topic that can become preachy if not executed properly. “Phullu targets creating a balance between entertainment as well the importance of the message.
The concept of the film interested me a lot and the fact that the script had been written so well made me say yes to the role,” adds Sharib.