Cast: Chiyaan Vikram, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Trisha, Sobhita Dhulipala, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Prabhu, Jayaram, Vikram Prabhu, Sarathkumar, Prakash Raj, Rahman & others
Director: Mani Ratnam
Music Director: AR Rahman
The sequel to Ponniyin Selvan, directed by Mani Ratnam and based on Kalki Krishnamurthy’s novel of the same name, has been released today, seven months after the release of its first part. This star-studded action drama was well-received in the Tamil language but did not receive the same level of acclaim in other languages. It remains to be seen how entertaining the sequel will be.
The second part of Ponniyin Selvan picks up right where the first part left off. After surviving a battle with the Pandyas that caused them to fall into the sea, Arunmozhi Varman (Jayam Ravi) and Vallavaraiyan Vandhiyadevudu (Karthi) are rescued by a mute woman named Mandhakini (Aishwarya Rai). While Arunmozhi Varman receives treatment from the Buddhas in Lanka, Nandhini (Aishwarya Rai) and the Pandyas conspire to overthrow the Chola dynasty. Meanwhile, the Chieftains of the Chola dynasty attempted to make Madhuranthakudu (Rehman) the new Chola King by dethroning Aditya Karikaludu (Vikram). The movie reveals what happens next: who is Mandhakini and what is her connection to Nandhini’s appearance? Do Arunmozhi and Vallavaraiyan Vandhiyadevudu return to the Chola dynasty, and who ultimately emerges victorious? Find out in this exciting sequel.
Ponniyin Selvan’s first part received criticism in languages other than Tamil for its convoluted screenplay and numerous characters. However, the sequel addresses these concerns and presents a clear and straightforward screenplay that answers all the unresolved questions from the previous installment. The movie neatly connects all the dots towards the end.
The film features some well-executed drama and nicely presented sequences. Aishwarya Rai’s character receives the most attention, and she delivers a fantastic performance as both Nandhini and Mandhakini, both of whom play crucial roles in the movie’s plot. A pivotal scene between Aishwarya Rai and Chiyaan Vikram in the second half is particularly impressive. Vikram delivers a subtle performance as Aditya Karikaludu, as expected of the talented actor.
Jayam Ravi does an excellent job in the titular role, bringing the required royalty and shine to the character of Raja Raja Chola. Karthi also stands out with his all-round performance, evoking laughter in the audience with his antics and sharing great chemistry with Trisha. Karthi’s character is also used to provide entertainment in the film.
Other actors like Prakash Raj, Rahman, Sarath Kumar, Parthiban, Kishore, Jaya Chitra, Vikram Prabhu, Sobhita Dhulipala, and Aishwarya Lekshmi deliver decent performances in their respective roles. Each character, in one way or another, drives the story forward.
One downside to Ponniyin Selvan 2 is that it suffers from a slow pace, which may bother some viewers. Even scenes with interesting drama are dragged out unnecessarily, and there are too many slow-motion close-up shots in the film. The impact could have been improved if the editing team had trimmed the length of some scenes.
The lack of high moments in the movie is also a disappointment, as there were opportunities to add some exciting and adrenaline-pumping scenes without deviating from the story. However, it seems that the filmmakers chose to stick to a flat narrative, which may not appeal to all audiences. Additionally, the war sequences are poorly executed and needed better direction to create a stronger impact.
Overall, Ponniyin Selvan 2 delivers a satisfying sequel with intriguing and well-executed sequences. The film’s strengths lie in its engaging storyline, decent drama, and strong performances. Though an improvement over the first installment, viewers should brace themselves for the slow pacing that may challenge their patience. Nonetheless, if you’re a fan of period dramas, Ponniyin Selvan 2 is definitely worth watching.