Ponniyin Selvan-1 is an epic period drama film directed by Mani Ratnam, who also co-wrote it with Elango Kumaravel and B. Jeyamohan. The film is based on Kalki Krishnamurthy‘s 1955 novel Ponniyin Selvan. The movie features a large ensemble cast that includes Vikram, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Jayam Ravi, Trisha, Karthi, Sobhita Dhulipala, Prakash Raj, and many others.
The plot centres around intrigues in the 10th-century Chola dynasty. Sundar Chola, a dying monarch, had two sons and a daughter. He desires for his son to succeed him as king. However, many rebellions and conspiracies are being plotted. Aditya Karikalan (Vikram) is aware of the uprising but is engaged in a battle far away. So, He sends his companion Vanthiyathevan (Karthi) on a mission. We explore a number of folks and their stories along the road as he travels.
Wounded characters are explored in the movie. One of them is Nandini, portrayed by Aishwarya. She utilises her beauty and intellect to pursue vengeance and power. Mani Ratnam has attempted to make the most of Aishwarya Rai‘s stunning looks. Aditya Karikalan (Vikram), the eldest prince, is filled with dread. To get away, he is employing war. Vikram does a fantastic job portraying the role. Up until the very end, the movie explores new characters. It appears to be a prolonged setup for the major conflict to appear in the second part. A. R. Rehman’s background score is excellent. It isn’t bulky. It enhances the overall experience. Ravi Verman‘s cinematography is filled with vibrant hues. It isn’t overshadowed by flashy visual effects. To create a genuine historical piece, costuming and production design must be meticulous. Eka lakhani and Thotta tharani pay close attention to detail.
Ponniyin Selvan-1 is a historical drama with contemporary sensibilities. Handheld and shaky cams are used to film a lot of scenes. The movie has several really well-planned visual compositions, but they are not all used consistently. The film achieved a certain rawness that distinguishes it from other period dramas.
The action sequences are the most disappointing. The action is neither stylized slow-motion nor realistic. It appears really phoney and unconvincing. The last action sequence on the ship is completely forgettable. Some characters are introduced quickly, possibly to keep the film’s running time under 3hrs. However, these decisions detract from the entire experience.
Ponniyin Selvan-1 is a slow-burning, complex film. It appears that the authors made an effort to make the narrative simpler. Still it needs our attention. It delves deeply into human fallacies like vengeance, politics, love, and greed. Maybe there are some concerns about the style and the technicalities of the film but the substance is there. We shall undoubtedly await the sequel.