PONNIYIN SELVAN 2
Producers: Mani Ratnam and Subaskaran
Director: Mani Ratnam
Cast: Chiyaan Vikram, Jeyam Ravi, Aishwarya Rai, Trisha, Karthi, Prabhu, Sarat Kumar, R. Parthiban, Nasser, Vikram Prabhu, Prabhu, Jayaram and Prakash Raj
Platform of Release: Theatrical
By Jyothi Venkatesh
At the outset, I should say that though Mani Ratnam and the screenplay writers Jeyamohan, Kumaravel and Mani Ratnam) have taken quite a few cinematic liberties to deviate from the original novel, the mind-boggling film is so slick that the younger generation which may not have read the original weekly periodically series, may even believe that this film is gleaned from true history. The settings and costumes are magnificent.
Having set the plot in motion in the first part with Ponniyin Selvan: Part 2, Mani Ratnam now sets out to dive right straight into the heart of the novel – the ill-fated romance between crown prince Aditha Karikalan (Vikram) and Nandhini (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan).
While PS2 based on Kalki Krishnamoorthi’s acclaimed novel serialised in the weekly Kalki begins with a prelude that captures the romance between these two characters when they were young, and without saying too much in the form of dialogues, the director shows us the blossoming of love between a prince and an orphan girl, and the subsequent heartache it leaves in the wake of them being separated by forces beyond their control.
Till the intermission, the film continues with the brisk narration that we got in the latter half of the first film, proceeding more like a swashbuckler. We witness the daring attempts to murder Arulmozhi, who is recovering from an illness at a monastery, and Vandhiyathevan’s (Karthi) efforts to foil them. We get a sizzling romantic scene between Vandhiyathevan and Kundhavai, (Trisha) a truly heart-warming moment in a reunion of the siblings, and a thrilling pre-interval action sequence that’s a master class in shooting chaos while retaining spatial clarity.
While Chiyaan Vikram as Aditha Karikalan is superb, Aishwarya Rai as Nandini is simply brilliant and tackles her twin role too with a lot of agility. Trisha rises over her role to lend credibility to it, while Sivaji Ganesan’s son Prabhu as well as grandson Vikram Prabhu live their characters with effortless ease. Jeyam Ravi is too good as the pensive Arulmozhi Verman
To sum up, all said and done, I would say that PS2 is an outstanding masterpiece from Mani Ratnam, where storytelling, perfect casting, production design & making all blend beautifully, especially with terrific performances from Chiyaan Vikram as Karikalan and Aishwariya Rai as Nandini being the pivot around which magnificent and awesome film revolves.