Ponniyin Selvan 2 Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Vikram, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Trisha Krishnan, Sobhita Dhulipala, Prakash Raj, and ensemble.

Director: Mani Ratnam.

Ponniyin Selvan 2 Movie Review
Ponniyin Selvan 2 Movie Review ( Photo Credit – Ponniyin Selvan 2  Poster )

What’s Good: it is the sudden shift to detail,  finding the moment amid the pristine grandeur and Aishwarya’s deep sea-like eyes that make part 2 a much more poignant movie than the first.

What’s Bad: Ratnam introduces a platter full of characters, but some don’t get the redemption their arcs deserve.

Loo Break: Part 2 is a fascinating watch that finally dives deeper into the lethal world of Cholas and the enemies around them. You don’t get to miss the moments.

Watch or Not?: You must because this is finally Mani Ratnam, the master bringing out the complexities of the world he has borrowed from Kalki Krishnamurthy.

Language: Tamil (with subtitles).

Available On: In Theatres Near You.

Runtime: 165 minutes.

User Rating:

Taking ahead the story of the Cholas, Arunmozhi (Jayam Ravi) is alive, Nandini (Aishwarya) still seeks revenge, Aditha Karikalan (Vikram) continues to be the protector and a broken lover, Kanduvai (Trisha), and Vallavaraiyan (Karthi) continues to weave them all in a single tale. Plans are laid against the Cholas and war is fought only to realise that the real battles were more personal than we thought.

Ponniyin Selvan 2 Movie Review
Ponniyin Selvan 2 Movie Review ( Photo Credit – A Still From Ponniyin Selvan 2 )

Ponniyin Selvan 2 Movie Review: Script Analysis

We have to agree with the fact that the fuel to Mani Ratnam’s cinema is the unrequited love and the abundance of it. The filmmaker knows how to make people fall in love and then drag them out of it while making his audience a part of a destructive love story. For someone who didn’t like Ponniyin Selvan 1, Part 2 came in as a massive shift and a beautiful surprise, mostly because Ratnam has a love saga to tell here at the helm of a story about a reigning house.

Adapted by Mani Ratnam, Jayamohan, and Kumaravel from Kalki’s iconic work, Ponniyin Selvan 2 finally manages to find its soul and a hook to put the multiple threads it intimated in the first part. While I still believe the first left too much for the second, it is in Ratnam’s mastery that he made it all work. PS 2 exists in its moments more than the grandeur that is designed by the creators so skilfully. Yes, the fight is for the throne, but that never makes an impactful entry to the movie visually. But that does work well, too, because all the key moments are created away from the treasures and the thrones, leaving a long-lasting impact.

PS 2 works as a redemption for at least the key characters in more ways than one. Mani Ratnam is in no haste at the beginning to take you where he left with the first part. He rather invests the opening 10 minutes or so in telling you the love story that was introduced in bits and pieces. Aditha and Nandini’s saga becomes the centre conflict and is so poignant. A fierce prince in love with an orphan who is ousted because she has no house to be eligible for becoming a queen. That makes her fantasise power and work towards it, only to meet the lover in the most traumatic turn of life.

Ratnam’s magic unfolds right here when he weaves the entire widespread narrative around this plot. While he does move the other parallel storylines, but he always kind of creates a void purposely so a viewer’s mind would keep wanting to come back to it. The first half is spent busting the evil plans and letting the love between its multiple characters bloom.

The problem begins beyond the interval where Ratnam picks up pace, and doesn’t let us breathe in the heavy moments. It doesn’t let us process some of the most pivotal twists one of which even involves the mysterious aged Aishwarya, introduced at the end of part 1. Her mystery is revealed only to snatch bet away in one scene, making it all look like a waste of opportunity. Similarly, multiple characters do not get their deserving redemption.

Ponniyin Selvan 2 Movie Review: Star Performance

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has to be one of the most underrated actors. Her demand in the circle of period cinema somewhere made people think that the grandeur compensates for her but that was never the case. As an actor, she brings so much to the table, and Ponniyin Selvan 2 lets her go wild with Nandini. She commands your attention and doesn’t let you move even a bit in her presence. There is so much mystic beauty even when she walks into Ravi Varman’s camera that it makes the frame even more beautiful.

Vikram is a performer who knows his job well. Adding Aditha to his characters that go wild after a point and let it leak into their behaviour, he adds a lot more than what you see on the screen. There is so much to learn from the way he approaches the part that is the King In Line, but he manages to make him human first.

Ponniyin Selvan cannot be mentioned without talking about Karthi and his acting range, that makes him the most prominent cast members. His casting must have been the toughest bait because he is the voice of the viewer in here. Karthi knows humour, he is good at action, and can make you root for him.

Jayam Ravi, as Arunmozhi, is likable and also very charming. Trisha shows her vulnerable side this time, and she is brilliant. Wish Sobhita Dhulipala and Aishwarya Lekshmi deserves much more screentime. Dhulipala shows so much potential in the little she gets, some more complex scenes would have done wonders for her.

Ponniyin Selvan 2 Movie Review
Ponniyin Selvan 2 Movie Review ( Photo Credit – A Still From Ponniyin Selvan 2 )

Ponniyin Selvan 2 Movie Review: Direction, Music

Mani Ratnam as the director in PS 2, is in his glory. The filmmaker creates a visual spectacle expected from him and worships his story more than anything. Be it the moment where the three Chola siblings finally meet after investing two movies in saving them, or the final moments between Nandini and Aditha, or Vallavaraiyan’s helplessness; he captures all of it with ‘theraav’.

With DOP Ravi Varman, Ratnam’s longtime collaborator, he creates visuals which are stunning and detailed. Top angle shots of two people talking, or Aishwarya Rai Bachchan simply breathing. They all look ethereal. How does Mani Ratnam managed capture Aishwarya in such a godly manner should be a case study. The set design and costumes are worth every minute.

The only place where Ponniyin Selvan 2 flickers visually are the war sequences. Two reasons lead to the bothering aspect. First being the haste in which they appear in the story and second, that very flat execution.

AR Rahman and his music evolve 10 folds from one, and there is so much nuance that his music adds in every single frame. Gulzar Sahab only accentuates this set up with his words.

Ponniyin Selvan 2 Movie Review: The Last Word

Ponniyin Selvan 2 works like a brilliant compensation for sitting through a scattered part 1. There is so much to grasp here and a Ratnam brand lethal love saga in the centre of it all LLP. You must invest in this one.

Ponniyin Selvan 2 Trailer

Ponniyin Selvan 2 releases on 28 April, 2023.

Share with us your experience of watching Ponniyin Selvan 2.

For more recommendations, read our Viduthalai Part 1 Movie Review here.

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