The first part of Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan ends on a cliffhanger with Jayam Ravi’s Chola prince lost in the sea and clouds looming large over the Chola empire. As we gear up to watch the sequel of this epic period drama, slated to hit the cinemas on April 28, Ponniyin Selvan: II must provide answers to five crucial questions that the first film left us with. Take a look.
Who is Mandakini? Is she related to Nandini?
Ponniyin Selvan: Past I ended on a sombre note as Arunmozhi Varman (Jayam Ravi) and Vendiyathevan (Karthi) were lost in the sea after a cyclonic storm toppled their ship. However, before the end credits rolled, we see a grey-haired woman jump into the waters searching desperately for the Chola prince. To our dismay, her face resembled that of Queen Nandini (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan). We do not have any information about her except that her name is Mandakini and that she is Poongkuzhali’s (Aishwarya Lekshmi) aunt. How does Mandakini fit into the game of thrones in the Chola empire? We are dying to find out.
PS: II trailer reveals that Arunmozhi is still alive. How did he survive?
After the ship carrying Arunmozhi and Vendiyathevan went under the waters, they were presumed to be dead. As the news of their demise reached the Chola capital, we saw king Sundara Chola (Prakash Raj) break down. Vanaathi (Sobhita Dhulipala), in love with Arunmozhi, was inconsolable as she delivered the news to Princess Kundavai (Trisha Krishnan). Aditha Karikalan (Chiyaan Vikram) decided to attack Thanjavur in a fit of rage, holding Nandini responsible for the tragedy. However, the trailer of PS: II has revealed that Arunmozhi is not dead. How did he survive? Did Mandakini and Poongkuzhali save him? We can’t wait to find out.
Why does Nandini hate Aditha Karikalan and the Cholas?
One of the major conflicts in PS: I was the embittered relationship between Aditha Karikalan and Queen Nandini. Mani Ratnam had given us a hint that they were romantically involved with each other in their youth. However, Kundavai, who was jealous of Nandini’s beauty, drove her out of the Chola kingdom. We also witnessed how Aditha assassinated Pandya king Veera Pandyan in front of Nandini, scarring her for life. But is that reason enough for her to seek the destruction of the Chola empire? Is there more to her hatred? Does her resemblance with Mandakini have anything to do with her past? The sequel is likely to come up with the answers.
Will Nandini kill Aditha?
It was Nandini who tricked king Sundara Chola into sending an envoy to Lanka to arrest Arunmozhi Varman and bring him to Thanjavur. Because of this reason, after Arunmozhi is assumed dead in the cyclonic storm, Aditha blames Nandini for his demise and attacks Thanjavur to kill her. The trailer of PS: II promises a massive showdown between the two. In one scene, we see Nandini holding a sword against Aditha’s chest. Will she kill him? Or will the former lovers let go of their egos and reunite? We’ll soon find out.
Who will get the Chola throne in the end?
The entire plot of Ponniyin Selvan films hinges on this question. Political conspiracies are afoot in the Chola empire. Sundara Chola’s health is deteriorating and his sons are away from the capital on quests. A section of the courtiers want to instal Sundara Chola’s cousin Madhurantakan (Rahman) on the throne. Pandya assassins, aided by Queen Nandini, have also infiltrated the kingdom in order to avenge the death of their leader Veera Pandyan. While Aditha Karikalan is the crown prince, Arunmozhi Varman is also immensely popular among the people. Who will emerge victorious in this game of thrones? We’ll have our answers on at the cinemas tomorrow.