Ponniyin Selvan Part 2
The second part begins precisely where the first part ended. Arunmozhi Varman (Jayam Ravi) and Vallavaraiyan Vandhiyadevudu (Karthi), who sank into the sea while fighting with Pandyas get saved by a mute woman Mandhakini (Aishwarya Rai). Later Arunmozhi Varman gets treated by Buddhas in Lanka. At the same time, Nandhini (Aishwarya Rai), along with Pandyas, plans a conspiracy to eradicate the Chola dynasty. This is also the time Chieftains of the Chola dynasty try to make Madhuranthakudu (Rehman) the Chola King by dethroning Aditya Karikaludu (Vikram). What happened later? Who exactly is this Mandhakini? What’s the mystery behind Nandhini looking alike Mandhakini? Did Arunmozhi and Vallavaraiyan Vandhiyadevudu return to the Chola dynasty? Who had the upper hand finally? The movie has the answers.
The first part was heavily panned in other languages due to its convoluted screenplay and too many characters. But in part two, the screenplay is clear and straightforward without any confusion. All the unanswered questions of Ponniyin Selvan 1 will be answered in this sequel. All the dots are nicely connected towards the end.
The drama at places is neat, and there are a few nicely presented sequences in the movie. The focus was mainly on Aishwarya Rai’s character, and she did a fantabulous job as Nandhini. She also played another role as Mandhakini, which is very crucial to the film’s plot. An important sequence between Aishwarya Rai and Chiyaan Vikram which comes in the second half, is too good. Vikram gives a subtle performance as Aditya Karikaludu, and the actor amuses as always.
Jayam Ravi, who played the titular role, did an excellent job. He shines as Raja Raja Chola and brings the royalty required for the character. Again Karthi scores high for his all-round performance. He evokes laughs in the hall with his antics and shares a neat chemistry with Trisha. Karthi’s character is again used here for delivering entertainment.
Others like Prakash Raj, Rahman, Sarath Kumar, Parthiban, Kishore, Jaya Chitra, Vikram Prabhu, Sobhita Dhulipala, and Aishwarya Lekshmi are decent in their respective roles. Almost every character, in one or the other way, drives the story forward.
Just like part one, the sequel also suffers from slow pacing, which at times might cause irritation to the viewers. Even the scenes which have neat drama get stretched unnecessarily. The slow-motion close-up shots are way too many in the movie. Had the editing team cut short the length of many scenes, the impact could have been multifold.
The movie lacks any high moments though there was a chance to include them. There should have been some adrenaline moments without deviating from the story. This actually could have spiced up things taking the film to the next level. But it looks like the makers wantedly stuck to a flat narrative. This might not work well with all the sections of the audience. The war sequences are clumsy, and they needed better execution.
Technically Ponniyin Selvan 2 is just splendid. The production design is exquisite, and Thota Tharrani did a stupendous job. The songs by AR Rahman are decent, but his background score in a few scenes is very effective. The cinematography by Ravi Varma is fair. The VFX works are nice, and the production values are fantastic. The editing team should have cut short the film by at least fifteen minutes.
Coming to the director, Mani Ratnam, he has done an okay job with the sequel. Though the movie has a decent amount of drama and good performances, the slow-paced narrative hampers the overall impact. That being said that Ponniyin Selvan 2 is definitely a better outing than the first part. The second hour is better than the initial hour, with some exciting moments taking place between the key characters.
On the whole, Ponniyin Selvan 2 is a satisfactory sequel that has some interesting and well-executed sequences. The absorbing storyline, decent drama, and solid performances are its assets. PS 2 is surely better than its predecessor, but to enjoy the film, one has to sit through the slow-paced narrative. Give it a shot if you love watching period dramas.
Nris.com Rating: 3/5