There might be few complaints for zealous fans of Kalki’s novel, as Mani Ratnam’s screenplay is tight and the performances are largely spot-on, particularly Vikram’s fabulous portrayal of Aditha Karikalan’s delusional love for Nandini

There might be few complaints for zealous fans of Kalki’s novel, as Mani Ratnam’s screenplay is tight and the performances are largely spot-on, particularly Vikram’s fabulous portrayal of Aditha Karikalan’s delusional love for Nandini

For ardent fans of Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan, Mani Ratnam’s PS: 1 begins with a tinge of disappointment.

The opening scene is just not Vanthiyathevan on horseback wanting on the Veeranam tank that appears like a sea. Instead, the film opens with Aditha Karikalan in battle. But don’t really feel let down, because the film, on the entire, stays majorly true to the fictional historical past penned and serialised in Kalki journal by Kalki Krishnamurthy within the Fifties.

While the e-book begins and ends with Vanthiyathevan who runs by way of the story, the film’s highlight is on the 2 Chola princes. It begins with Adhitha Karikalan, and after the interval, it restarts with Arulmozhi Varman, once more in battle.

The movie certainly has a grandeur to it unlike the book that got here by way of as two tales; one of a spy in love with a stunning and clever Chola princess (Kundavai), and the opposite of a Chola prince’s (Aditha Karikalan) vengeful and bloody romance together with his younger lover Nandini, from whom he was separated very early for the sake of the dominion. 

Another let down is the introduction of Poonguzhali, the younger lady who sails on a ship to Sri Lanka typically from Kodiakarai and saves Arulmozhi Varman (who refers to her as “the daughter of the ocean”). Sadly, Kodiakarai and its ghosts haven’t any place in Mani Ratnam’s narrative. Since it’s a film, the director has chosen to introduce solely the primary protagonists. For the e-book lovers although, Poonguzhali holds a particular place of their hearts.

The morning of the film’s launch, my dad informed me, “The casting is sweet; Vikram as Aditha Karikalan, Karthi as Vanthiyathevan, Trisha as Kundavai, and Aishwarya as Nandini. Even Jayaram as Alwarkadiyan, Sarathkumar and Parthiban as Pazhuvettaraiyars. Mani Ratnam has been spot-on. You want to understand the ache he will need to have taken to make the film.” 

He was completely proper. Jayaram and Karthi’s camaraderie and foolhardiness come alive within the film, identical to within the e-book. Vanthiyathevan’s first encounter with Nandini unfolds simply as within the e-book as nicely; so is the cunningly-beautiful confrontation between Kundavai and Nandini.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Nandini in the film

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Nandini within the movie

But one character that doesn’t translate really into celluloid from the e-book is that of the king Sundara Cholar (Prakash Raj). The e-book describes him as “probably the most good-looking man on the planet.” Kamal Haasan would have killed it. Also, within the novel he was largely confined to his mattress, ailing, troubled, lonely and affected by his sins, however the film fails to convey out his insufferable ache.

Mani Ratnam, although, portrays by way of Sarathkumar, the ache of Periya Pazhuvettaraiyar, an previous man and a veteran of so many battles, who falls in love in with a younger lady (Nandini) to change into an object of ridicule. The director has captured the longings of a love-sick grand previous man in direction of his companion, sensually and sensitively. It is nearly as good because the e-book.

The screenplay is tight, tied to the primary story, and the dialogues leap from the pages onto the display screen. Did we miss one thing within the film? The early conferences between Vanthiyathevan and Kundavai at Kudanthai Josiyar’s home, or the occasion when Vanthiyathevan “kills” a stuffed crocodile by the banks of a river, can’t be forgotten by lovers of the novel. While each the film and the e-book painting Vanthiyathevan as a flirt, the e-book reveals clearly his unwavering love and dedication to Kundavai. The film, not a lot.

But has the film outdone the e-book wherever? Maybe in portraying Aditha Karikalan’s delusional love for Nandhini, brilliantly portrayed by Vikram, aside from a couple of close-up photographs in direction of the top of the film.

Vikram as Aditha Karikalan in the film

Vikram as Aditha Karikalan within the movie

Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan is a component of the cherished, collective reminiscence of hundreds of thousands of Tamils within the post-independent period and subsequently nobody, together with MGR and Kamal Haasan, dared to make it right into a film. But Mani Ratnam needn’t be nervous, as PS:1 has not failed fans of the e-book.

(This author learn the 5 volumes of Ponniyin Selvan continuous as a 12-year-old in his aunt’s library throughout the summer time of 1983)

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