HomeMovie ReviewsPonniyin Selvan 2 Review; A satisfying sequel with many brilliant performances

Ponniyin Selvan 2 Review; A satisfying sequel with many brilliant performances

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Review for Ponniyin Selvan Part 2: 

  • REVIEW BY ARUNJYOTHI R 

•Language: TAMIL

•Duration: 02 Hour 44 Minutes. 

•Genre: Periodical Action Drama. 

•POSITIVES: 

1: DIRECTION 

2: STORY 

3: SCREENPLAY 

4: DIALOGUES 

5: PERFORMANCE OF ACTORS 

6: CINEMATOGRAPHY 

7:MUSIC AND BACKGROUND SCORE 

6: PRODUCTION DESIGN 

NEGATIVES:

1: SLOW-PACED 

2: AVERAGE VFX AND GRAPHICS 

2: WAR SCENES WOULD HAVE BEEN DONE BETTER.

3: EDITING 

4: DURATION OF THE FILM 

ONE WORD: A satisfying sequel with many brilliant performances. 

STORY IDEA

The plot started from the backstory of the love tale between young Aditha karikalan (Santhosh Sreeram) and young orphan girl named Nandhini (Sara Arjun) 

where the story chief draws mesmerizing sequel love between Aditha Karikalan (Chiyaan Vikram) and Nandhini (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan). The Ponniyin Selvan-1 ended at the bottom of deep sea, where the Chola prince Arulmozhi Varman (Jayam Ravi) and his devoted lieutenant Vandhiyanthevan (Karthi) were left to die by Pandiya slayers. They were rescued by a muted dame who resembles Chola beau Nandhini (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) more than a twist of fate. The tenth-century Chola empire conquered by Sundara Cholan (Prakash Raj) is battling a conspiracy to banish his family that is led by Nandhini’s husband, Periya Pazhuvettayar (Sarath Kumar) band together with Pandiya mutiny which was led by Ravidasa (Kishore) to take revenge for Aditha’s discern infidelity. Periya Pazhuvettayar desires to place Sundara Cholan’s cousin Madhurantaka (Rahman) on the throne. 

The group of central characters are Sundara Cholan’s daughter Kundavai (Trisha) and her siblings Aditha Karikalan and Arulmozhi, Vandhiyathevan, the priest Thirumalai (Jayaram) and the sailorwoman Poonkuzhali (Aishwarya Lekshmi). He wittness the reckless attempts to murder Arulmozhi and  Vandhiyathevan’s efforts to thwarts them. The second half is more bothered with the destiny of Karikalan’s death and crucial love meets at a time. The ending of the plot comes with the sequences of the war and the answer to the question of who is the father of Nandhini. The story ends with the exposition of the conqueror of the crown.

ANALYSIS OF THE DIRECTION, STORY, SCREENPLAY AND DIALOGUES:

Ponniyin Selvan: Part 2 is directed by the veteran filmmaker and written by Mani Ratnam. Elango Kumaravel also joined with Mani Ratnam for writing the screenplay and B. Jeyamohan had written the dialogues for the film. The film is based on the famous novel Ponniyin Selvan by Kalki Krishnamurthy. The movie is produced by Mani Ratnam and Subaskaran Allirajah under Madras Talkies and Lyca Productions. In Tamil Nadu the film is distributed by Red Giant Movies, in Kerala by Sree Gokulam Movies. Sri Venkateswara Creations distributes the film in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and Pen India Limited does the distribution in the rest of the states in India. Lyca Productions in association with Tentkotta does the overseas distribution. With a U/A censor certificate, the film is now running in theatres for 166 minutes duration. 

Ponniyin Selvan: Part 2 is the craft of cinematic brilliance and the magical direction from Mani Ratnam had given a completely satisfying ending. The film is made on a large scale and looks grand from the very beginning till the end. The dominating visuals and the production quality was giving a different experience and the touch of Mani Ratnam’s filmmaking made Ponniyin Selvan: Part 2 to give one of the best theatrical experiences of this year. The original novel ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ is a complex novel and how Mani Ratnam adapted the novel into the film will blow your mind. The direction was brilliant, and the story premise and how he presented the central characters were amazing. Mani Ratnam had masterly divided the movie into two and this second part was crammed with sufficient content to engage us. The first part ended up showing an important character and it was promising for a potential sequel. So, how Mani Ratnam connects the first part to the second part and how the story is getting concluded will surely entertain you. The depth and pride of the original novel by Kalki are tremendous and I would say without losing the greatness of the novel the execution was favouring the direction of Mani Ratnam and hats off to his vision and efforts. 

Like the first part, the movie follows a classic filmmaking style, so the movie travels at a slow pace and the commercial elements are less concentrated. Therefore, the manner of filmmaking which we saw in the first part can also be seen in this ending sequel. The history and culture were presented beautifully and how Mani Ratnam blended fiction with history was also interesting. The characters ‘Nandini’ played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and ‘Aditha Karikalan’ played by Vikram are predominantly focused on the second part. Their characters, their motive, their intention, their aim and their relationship was portrayed realistically by Mani Ratnam. Both Vikram and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan delivered spectacular performances and lifted the movie with the emotions of vengeance and love. Their chemistry and how these two characters lived, and the reason behind their conflicts was directed by Mani Ratnam authentically. So, their characters made a great impact and the impact lasted till the end. The events which lead to the climax are filled with many unexpected circumstances and proper detail and explanation was given for every single movement so the movie didn’t haunt me with confusion. 

Those who have got a clear picture of Ponniyin Selvan: Part 1 will be having a treat because this sequel is for them. It will be very much interesting, and eagerness will be contrived while watching the second part. I felt it, I was curious and thrilled to know what was next and how the ending is going to be. So I didn’t feel lagging, the movie went on the same graph and the momentum was held till the climax. The climax was shocking, it’s easy to predict how the climax will be but the factors which were included in the climax will make you feel the moment of love. What happens to the characters Nandini and Aditha Karikalan in the ending, the reasons and confessions revealed in the climax were presented lustrously with proper emotions and depth. So, as I said, the second part gives more importance to Vikram and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and they delivered a mind-blowing performance. I thought this time the script would be complicated and confusing, but I was wrong. The script was cleverly written because proper explanations are given for each and every incident so the viewing experience of Ponniyin Selvan: Part 2 was elegant. 

The script is incredible, the script writers have done a neat and perfect job. The characters are one of the biggest strengths of this film, there were numerous characters with different shades and the emotions filled in every character were directed flawlessly by Mani Ratnam. The combination scenes of Vikram and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Karthi and Jayam Ravi, Trisha and Prakash Raj were top-notch. The scene where Prakash Raj confesses to Trisha was outstanding, that scene changed the mood and totality of the film and I felt the emotions of that scene in an intense manner. Jayam Ravi and Karthi had a great time, their chemistry worked out well and their combination scenes were plugged with good moments. The introduction of childhood scenes of Aditha Karikalan and Nandini was alarmed with soulful romance and love and those scenes had given a good impact and initial impressions. So the chemistry between the characters was perfect and every single character was written out authentically. The first part was left with many questions, the mystery and enmity of Nandini’s character played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is solved in the second part. The character Nandini was my favourite in the first part and it continues after seeing the second part. The beauty surrounded with her character, the mystery in her, her unexpected actions and her sole aim was drawing all my attention. In the second part also the beauty and mystery lie with the character Nandini, her character and performance of Aishwarya Rai lifted the movie to the winning point. It was classic and intense, I’m sure the character Nandini will be remembered forever. 

The slow-paced making style is what makes the film Ponniyin Selvan different, for me, the slow-paced travel of this movie attracts more. But it won’t be liked by everyone, the slow-paced way of direction may have the chance to feel drag and bore for a common audience. Some scenes were purposefully stretched and felt overdramatic. The stretchy slow-motion shots will sometimes test the patience and I wish the editing team could have trimmed the length of such scenes. The war scenes in the film were poor, it was average, looked simple and didn’t give a wow moment. There were plenty of chances to make the war sequences look more thrilling and energetic but sadly Mani Ratnam had gone with a simple manner. So the action sequences and war scenes looked clumsy and it was not executed properly. The duration of the film could have been shortened, at some point, the film may look too slow so if some scenes were cut off the overall viewing experience of Ponniyin Selvan Part 2 would have been greater. 

The performances of the actors were fine and everyone did complete justice to their respective characters. The characters which we saw in the first part continue to make their appearance in the second part also. Vikram and Aishwarya Rai are the backbone of this second part and did a spectacular performance which will be remembered. Karthi as Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan was great, his energy which we watched in the first part can be also seen here. His action sequences, the screen presence and the romantic combination scene with Trisha were great. Jayam Ravi as Arunmozhi Varman alias Ponniyin Selvan did a good performance. Compared with the first part, the performance of Jayam Ravi in the second part was more impressive. The screen space was more so he was able to perform well and the combination scenes with Karthi were also interesting. Trisha’s character Kundavai was excellent, her acting made the character look more vibrant and special. The expression of Trisha and the natural way of conveying the dialogue was showing shades of true realistic acting. 

The production quality of the film is large and it’s grand. The artwork, set, costumes and premise of the film had a rich appeal and it was attractive. The dynasty time period, the big palace, the props, the materials used in the film, the cinematography, the large-scale made-up set etc looks exact and it was matching the timeline of the old periods. The cinematography was extraordinary, Ravi Varman captured the moment and it was appealing to the eyes. The visual beauty of the film needs to be specially mentioned, as Ravi Varman as a cinematographer sincerely captured many stunning shots and frames. The close-up shots were exhibiting the talents of the actors and the combination scene of Vikram and Aishwarya Rai was having the best angles, lighting and frames. The action sequences looked weak but the camera movements in it were impressive. The editing of A. Sreekar Prasad was fine, I didn’t feel much lag or bored but still, I wished some scenes felt stretchy and it could have been trimmed. The background score of A.R Rahman was good, the background tunes felt different. The background tunes had the strength to lift the feel and emotions of many scenes but in some went flat. The song ‘Aga Naga’ was melodious and the vocals of Shakthisree Gopalan brought the feel of romance. 

•CONCLUSION:

So, Ponniyin Selvan: Part 2 had given me a satisfying experience and I would say this sequel is a brilliant cinematic craft. Ponniyin Selvan has got the strength of intelligent and classic filmmaking, and Mani Ratnam can be proud of making such a large-scale epic film. The extraordinary making and script, the shining performance of the actors and the technical quality are the factors which make the film Ponniyin Selvan special. The film has slow making and the commercial elements are fewer so the film is clean and perfect drama which portrays many emotions. Therefore, to conclude I will recommend Ponniyin Selvan Part 2 to everyone and it’s a unique film that should not be missed watching on the big screens. 

VERDICT: MUST-WATCH 

RATING: 4/5

  • REVIEW BY ARUNJYOTHI R 
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