Ponniyin Selvan Part 1 Movie Review
Amarar Kalki’s epical fiction ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ is visually adapted by Mani Ratnam that has an ensemble star cast comprising Vikram, Aishwarya Rai, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Sarath Kumar, Jayaraman, and many more prominent actors. AR Rahman has composed music and Ravi Varman has cranked the camera for this movie that is made in two different parts.
Set with a fictional tone, the story revolves around Vanthiyadevan (Karthi) insisted by Aditha Karikalan (Vikram) to deliver a couple of messages to his father Sundara Chola (Prakash Raj) and his younger sister Kundavai (Trisha) about the evil plans of princely state kings to bring down the empire. It is revealed that the mastermind behind all this drama is none other than Nandini (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan). What’s the issue prevailing among all these characters, and does the Chola Kingdom retain its glory or succumb to the plans of the Pandiya Dynasty, who are relentlessly looking out to settle scores as revenge?
Firstly, the entire team of Ponniyin Selvan deserves appreciation for creating the epic, which owns myriad challenges. Yes, the ones, who have voraciously read the complete story of Ponniyin Selvan, might have highs and lows in accordance with the grandeur, but still, the movie retains the world of Ponniyin Selvan created by Kalki. Say, for instance, the opening scene featuring the song ‘Ponni Nadhi’ demands a plethora of grandeur. It’s a carnival song, but you might not find the same here with visual translation. Nonetheless, such factors don’t hamper the progression of the script anywhere. The entire first part is dedicated to the establishment of characters, the premise, and the conflict. To be incisive, the actual conflict will break open in Ponniyin Selvan 2 as the open ending here has a surprise element.
Jayam Ravi as Arulmozhi Varman appears only post-intermission, and he looks befittingly perfect for the characterization of Ponniyin Selvan. Be the charisma he owns or the gigantic appeal the throws up during the action sequence, Jayam Ravi is at his best#PonniyinSelvan
As with performances, every single actor looks promising and the credit goes to writer Kalki, who has crafted so much intensity in every character. When even the minutest element about a character is so precise, it becomes an easy task for the actor to breathe life into it. Actor Vikram as Aditha Karikalan is a metaphorical essence of aggressiveness and relentless fury. Yes, his back story reveals the reason behind this. In fact, he reveals the reason behind not stepping on his native land of Tanjore while scolding his younger sister Kundavai, played by Trisha. Vikram nails it down with every single expression. Karthi as Vanthiyadevan has delivered a flawless performance. His encounters with Nandini are at the top of all cherry picks. Trisha as Kundavai has very limited scenes, but Mani Ratnam doesn’t fail to exhibit the salient features of this character. Check out for a scene, where she creates a mess among the bunch of miscreants trying to bring down the Chola Empire… Jayam Ravi as Arulmozhi Varman appears only post-intermission, and he looks befittingly perfect for the characterization of Ponniyin Selvan. Be the charisma he owns or the gigantic appeal the throws up during the action sequence, Jayam Ravi is at his best. It is evident that the entire second part will majorly travel on him. Aishwarya Rai is the absolute stunner as Nandini. A bewitching evil is the synonym of this character, and she exhibits it elegantly. Jayaraman as Azhwarkadiyan Nambi isn’t just here for humorous quotient but has a pivotal character, which is very well done by the ace actor. Sarath Kumar as Pazhuvettaiyar is promising.
AR Rahman is back with an impeccable spell. Of course, when it’s a Mani Ratnam film, he always loves pushing the bars, and his background score is spellbinding. However, it’s slightly disappointing to see that a couple of songs ‘Aalkadal’ and ‘Yaar’ have been deleted. Ravi Varman’s cinematography is the backbone in establishing grandeur along with Thotta Tharani’s set work.
On the whole, Ponniyin Selvan Part 1 is a commendable show that both the avid readers of the novel and novices can enjoy watching it. If you’re a novice to the world of PS, then you’ll have to be patient as it will take time for getting used to the characterizations and premise.
Ponniyin Selvan Part 1 Movie Review
Verdict: An excellent visual translation of the epic novel by Mani Ratnam is colossal in every aspect.