Home / Entertainment / 5 reasons why Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan: Part 1 is all set to be a blockbuster

5 reasons why Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan: Part 1 is all set to be a blockbuster

Ponniyin Selvan: Part 1 stars Jayam Ravi, Chiyaan Vikram, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Trisha and Karthi in key roles
 Aishwarya Rai Bachchan plays princess Nandini in  Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan: Part 1.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan plays princess Nandini in Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan: Part 1.
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Agnivo Niyogi   |   Calcutta   |   Published 29.09.22, 01:42 PM

Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan: Part 1 (PS-I) is the film we are waiting for with bated breath on September 30 and the reasons are many. Based on the Tamil historical novel Ponniyin Selvan, by late author Kalki, the film is a recreation of the Chola empire that included major portions of peninsular India between 907 AD and 1215 AD.

Touted as India’s answer to Game of Thrones, PS-I revolves around the journey of Vandiyathevan, a confidant of crown prince Aditya Karikalan, across the Chola empire. It also chronicles the journey of prince Arulmozhivarman (later known as King Raja Raja Chola) in Sri Lanka.

The novel, Ponniyin Selvan, has been the dream of many Tamil filmmakers to adapt on screen, and master storyteller Mani Ratnam has churned out a film of a magnitude that is unprecedented in Tamil cinema. Here are five reasons why we feel Ponniyin Selvan: Part 1 will be a box office blockbuster.


Mani Ratnam’s much-anticipated comeback

The six-time National Award-winning director has not had much luck at the box office with his films — Kadal and Kaatru Veliydiai to name a few — in the past one decade. Even the critical appreciation, usual for his films, has been missing.

Ponniyin Selvan: Part 1 is a project so grand that a lot is riding on this film for Mani Ratnam. He has undertaken the task of narrating the story of the mighty Chola reign, and any slip would incur the wrath of the Tamil populace. The trailers, so far, have been received with enthusiasm.

His past few films had failed not because of direction but for poor writing. This time, Mani Ratnam has leaned on an immensely popular novel – Ponniyin Selvan by Kalki Krishnamurthy. Elangao Kumaravel, who has created several plays based on the novel, has written the screenplay, and dialogues have been penned by veteran writer Jeyamohan. So, Mani Ratnam has a solid team in place this time around.


Staggeringly powerful ensemble cast 

Mani Ratnam has pulled off a coup of sorts in the assortment of actors who will bring Ponniyin Selvan to life. ‘Jayam’ Ravi plays the titular role of Arulmozhi Varman aka Ponniyin Selvan in this period drama. ‘Chiyaan’ Vikram is the crown prince Aditya Karikalan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is queen Nandini, Trisha is princess Kundavai and Karthi is prince Vanthiyathevan. Other significant faces include Jayaram as Azhwarkadiyan Nambi, Prakash Raj as Sundara Chola, Sobhita Dhulipala as Vanathi and Sarathkumar as Periya Pazhuvettaraiyar. With such a strong cast, it is a foregone conclusion that the film will have some superlative performances.


Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in another period drama 

Aishwarya was magnificent as Jodhaa Bai in Ashutosh Gowariker’s Mughal period drama Jodhaa Akbar, and going by her look in PS-I, she is all set to blaze the screen yet again with her strong screen presence and classical beauty. There’s also a hint of a face-off between her character and Trisha’s princess Kundavai in the trailers, and one can only look forward to some major fireworks between the leading ladies.


A.R. Rahman musical 

There’s a belief among fans of A.R. Rahman that Mani Ratnam brings out the best in him. The duo have created musical magic on screen since Roja in 1992.

The songs of PS-I are an eclectic mix of folk, melody and high-energy beats. The album has an abundance of drums and percussion, keeping with the theme of ancient Tamil music. Rahman has used various old Tamil musical instruments to add a touch of authenticity to the sound of the period drama.

The album features five songs, each belonging to a different genre. Ponni Nadhi, sung by Rahman himself, is an introduction to Vandhiyathevan (Karthi), who embarks on a journey across the Kaveri. It is a celebratory song high on energy. Chola Chola, sung by Sathya Prakash, Nakul Abhyankar and VM Mahalingam, is a victory song with groovy beats. Then there is Deveralan Attam, sung by Yogi Shekar, which has the quirky touch of Rahman. Raatchasa Maamaney is a peppy number sung by Shreya Ghoshal, Palakkad Sriram and Mahesh Vinayakam.

Sol, composed as a conversation between two women, is sung by Rakshita Suresh and has a calming effect. The most popular song from the album is Alaikadal, sung by newcomer Antara Nandi. The songs are being released in four languages — Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi.


Promise of a visual spectacle 

If the trailers are any indication, this Mani Ratnam directorial is going to be a visual extravaganza like no other. We are expecting its tone and texture to be different from the works of the master maker of visual spectacles — Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Depicting the reign of the mighty Cholas, the visuals of PS-I are full of grandeur and opulence. Art director Thota Tharrani and his team have put in a lot of effort to recreate the Chola architecture. Costume designer Eka Lakhani and make-up artiste Vikram Gaikwad have dressed up the actors in period-appropriate clothing. We also have high expectations from director of photography Ravi Varman, a name to reckon with.

IMAX Corporation and Lyca Productions have partnered to release the film in IMAX screens. PS-I will be the first Tamil film to debut in IMAX.

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