Readers Alert!! This review includes major spoilers, so skip it if you haven’t watched PS-1 yet.
Ponniyin Selvan – 1, the resurgence of the Chola Dynasty was perfectly delivered without a flinch by the extraordinary director, Mani Ratnam. It is just awe-striking to just digest the fact that this man compressed 2000 pages novel into two parts.
The most-anticipated Pan-India movie that the entire audience was waiting for hits the theatres on 30th September, made it a huge blockbuster hit!
Every character in this film was adapted from the novel, and they have played their role perfectly to the point that we can’t take our eyes off the frame. We literally can witness on the big screen how every actor is trying to deliver their brilliant performance, eventually enhancing the film to another level.
The conflict between Cholas and Pandyas dynasties revealed how dedicated and committed they are to living up to the character written by Kalki. We need to shower Mani Ratnam with ton of praises for choosing the star-studded casts for all the characters for this epic film. Everyone lives up to all the expectations.
Set in the 11th century of the Chola empire, the movie starts in a bloody warzone, portraying Aditha Karikalan (Vikram) and his troops fighting a battle against Rashtrakutas. While celebrating the victory after winning the battle; Aditha assigned his trusty best friend Vallavarayan Vanthiyathevan (Karthi) to convey a message to his bedridden father, who is also the King of the Chola dynasty, Sundara Chola.
That’s where the story begins to unravel one by one~
The brave, adventurous, and sarcastic warrior prince – Vanthiyathevan (Karthi), is the cast who will introduce various characters in this film. Karthi steals the show brilliantly with his remarkable acting skills. An additional point is where we can see how he mastered the art of flirtation throughout the first half. Karthi did not just act but he lived as Vanthiyathevan for this film.
On the majestic journey heading to the King’s palace, Karthi met Azhwarkadiyan Nambi (Jayaram), and this duo delivered some comical scenes together.
The confrontation between Kundavai and Nanthini was one of the goosebumps moments that can be witnessed in PS-1. The face-off scene along with ARR’s spectacular BGM enriches the scene. (It is simply a flabbergasting moment).
Next would be Ponniyin Selvan, the HERO of the novel; Arulmozhi Varnam (Jayam Ravi) entered magnificently from the ship which was heading to Ilangai. In the second half, Jayam Ravi oozes the compassionate ethos of a sensible, rational, and caring prince. Needless to say, Jayam Ravi is a perfect fit to be called Ponniyin Selvan. That’s how excellent his performance was.
Reaching the climax of Part 1, it ceases with a staggering thrilling moment where Arulmozhi heroically dives into a storm-filled sea with gigantic waves to save Karthi after the Pandyas mistakenly capture him rivets the audience’s attention and has everyone sitting on the edge of their seats biting their nails. The entire sequence was so dramatic that made audience to not blink for even a brief moment.
With other intense political dramas going on, on the other hand, Mani Ratnam marvellously demonstrates the never-ending pain of love of Aditha Karikalan. The misery and sorrow of Karikalan were superbly contrived through the Chola Chola song, and as usual, Vikram delivered a fantastic performance, slaying every frame.
The Women in PS-1 are Indeed Show Stealers!
When it comes to his selection and characterization of women, Mani Ratnam is a Picasso. Even after 50 years, the ladies in PS-1 will be lauded and revered. We can’t help but fall in love with all the ladies.
Nanthini (Aishwarya Rai Bachan)
Hailed as the epitome of breathtaking beauty, Aishwarya Rai Bachan as Nanthini captivated every audience’s heart and eyes with her extraordinary acting. Even her lip sync was almost perfect and we can’t tell her that she’s not a native Tamil speaker. Apart from her captivating visuals, Aishwarya Rai’s performance were impressive. Every frame of her in the entire film was like an art.
Trisha as Kundhavai, who acted as an ambitious and smart princess presented her first-class acting in PS-1. Unquestionably, Kundhavai is one of the finest characters that she roped to date. The way she walks, speaks and portrays Kundhavai tally with the novel to perfection. To those who doubt if Trisha can pull off Kundhavai’s character, you know what watch this movie first and you will change your thoughts.
Poonguzhali (Aishwarya Lekshmi)
Poonguzhali may not win the heart of her crush (Arulmozhi Varman) but she successfully captures hundred of hearts with her graceful and charming act. It is difficult to say whether Lekshmi, who plays the courageous fearless young woman, has justified her role or not, but her appealing performances nibble it away.
Vaanathi (Shobhita Dhulipala)
Even though Vaanathi’s character has a brief screen time, she did her very best scoring with her exquisite acting. Let’s see what Vaanathi will serve in PS-2 next year.
Mani Ratnam’s direction is prime in PS-1. The screenplay and cinematic staging were amazing. Next, the fighting scenes and warzone battle which was visualised realistically in the movie. In every scene, we felt the peculiar touch of Mani Ratnam. (Thank you for transforming the spellbinding novel into live-action)
Apart from great storytelling, direction and remarkable performances from every artist, another element that kept the audience hooked to the big screen was AR Rahman’s mind-blowing music. ARR enchanting BGM is the major significant feature that even magnifies the film one step higher.
From the start till the end, we can witness Mani Ratnam and his team’s prowess in assembling their best works to create this epic historical flick.
If you’re looking for something that amplifies beyond-belief scenes, then PS-1 is not for you.
One thing that everyone should know, PS-1 is not a film that showcases extravagant or exaggerated elements.
Remember, PS-1 is thoroughly an inch-perfect adaptation of a literate novel, a historical fiction. Don’t build your expectations on what other movies portray. Enjoy the film without any anticipation. PS-1 will undoubtedly leave you stunned, perhaps with a dash of snoopy curiosity. (PS-1 was such a cliffhanger)
If I had to sum up PS-1, it’s indeed a remarkable feat by Mani Ratnam.
Well, be prepared for Ponniyin Selvan – Part 2 and see how Mani Ratnam is about to wrap the whole novel. Is it going to be more magnificent and intriguing than PS-1, let’s wait and see…The Resurgence of Golden Era.