Ponniyin Selvan in Tamilyogi 480p 1080p 720p

Ponniyin Selvan in Tamilyogi 480p 1080p 720p



Review: Kalki's Ponniyin Selvan is a sprawling epic that has so far remained elusive to film for many a Tamil filmmaker, and Mani Ratnam finally brings the dream alive with this spectacular adaptation that superbly captures the intrigue, thrills and page-turning quality of the books. In this first of a two-part franchise, the director and his writers — Jeyamohan and Ilango Kumaravel — rise up to the challenge. The manner in which they have condensed the novel is admirable, with the changes — like Kundhavai storming into a secret discussion, the introduction of Ponniyin Selvan's mysterious saviour - adding to the momentum of the narrative. Jeyamohan's dialogues are especially a highlight as he uses language that is both classical and colloquial without making it seem odd.


The film does have a shaky start, with the director taking his time to set up the plot. Crown prince Aaditha Karikalan (Vikram) entrusts his friend Vandhiyathevan (Karthi) to deliver a message to his father and emperor Sundara Cholar (Prakash Raj) and sister, princess Kunthavai (Trisha) on the threats that the kingdom is facing. The schemers include Periya Pazhuvettarayar (Sarath Kumar) and Chinna Pazhuvettarayar (Radhakrishnan Parthiban), the empire's finance minister and commander, the numerous kings who have sworn fealty to the emperor, the remaining forces of the vanquished Pandya king and most importantly, Nandhini (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), Karikalan's former lover and the wife of Periya Pazhuvettarayar, who is determined to bring the entire Chola empire down for reasons of her own.


These portions, which inevitably have a bit of exposition given the nature of the plot, have rather jerky transitions as we are introduced to the numerous players in the plot and the history between them. There are times when we feel too many events being crammed up in a short time, which might make it hard for those who haven't read the books, to follow the plot. The swift character introductions also mean that we are already on to the next character before we have fully grasped the motives of the one we have just been introduced to.


But then, the film starts settling down and by the time we reach the intermission point (the ghost from the last that haunts Karikalan), we find ourselves engrossed in this narrative involving palace intrigue. And when the action shifts to Sri Lanka, where Karikalan's younger brother, Arunmozhi Varman (Jayam Ravi), the titular Ponniyin Selvan, is trying to capture the king of the land, the pace quickens and the film races towards the end, with nail-biting sequences involving the slain Pandya king's personal guards — who land there to kill Arunmozhi — and the director sets up the sequel on a high note, with a swashbuckling stunt on a ship on the stormy sea.


The casting is more or less spot on. Karthi is terrific as the playful Vandhiyathevan, and along with Jayaram, who plays the spy Alwarkadiyan, infuses humour into the largely serious proceedings. Aishwarya captures the spirit of Nandhini with her beguiling looks, while Vikram, Jayam Ravi and Trisha are effective as the royalty. The frames have grandeur, but unlike in the Baahubali films, here, it is more understated. Shooting largely on real locations, cinematographer Ravi Varman gives us spectacle in the visuals of grand fort walls, the spacious halls with multiple pillars and high ceilings, a solitary boat on a wide expanse of the ocean and innumerable bodies lined up on the beach. While AR Rahman's chopped-up songs are mainly used to further the narrative, his score helps in lending a rousing quality to the proceedings in the second half.


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