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Ponniyin Selvan 1 (PS-l) Movie Review - Slow-Paced Historic Political Drama

Rating: 2.75/5

More movie details: Ponniyin Selvan - Part 1

Ponniyin Selvan 1 (PS-l) Movie Review - Slow-Paced Historic Political Drama

Posted On: | By Bharani SMS

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INTRODUCTION:

The first installment of Ponniyan Selvan PS-l is a magnum opus released today. This Mani Ratnam directional is released amidst huge hype. Let's see whether it met the expectations or not.

STORY:

PS-l narrates the story of Arulmozhivarman who became the emperor Raja Raja l of the Chola dynasty. The movie revolves around the politics that are framed by various parties who try to capture the throne. This movie introduces the important characters who played crucial roles both positively and negatively that affected the life of Arulmozhivarman.

ARTIST'S PERFORMANCES:

This movie consists of a stellar star cast who gave good performances. Surprisingly Vikram as Aditya Karikalan has less screen space in this first part. He excelled well and shows his mark even in that short screen time. His role will be gaining significance in the later parts of this series. Jayam Ravi as Arulmozhivarman is superb in his role. His looks, body language, expressions, and acting will be loved by the audience.



Ishwarya Rai as Nandini looked gorgeous on screen. Her role has negative shades and she emoted her part with ease. Especially her expressions are magical and can make any stronger man into her slave with her beauty. This movie ended with her role and also a surprising reveal is showcased at the end.

Trisha as Kundavai has created a huge impact on the audience. Her Character is damn independent and she took it to next level with her acting prowess. In one particular scene, her character single-handedly stands against a group of men just with her words which is greatly acted by her. She equally stands against Ishwarya Rai and does extremely well.

There are other characters like Parthiban, Jayaram, Sarath Kumar, Lal, Prabhu, Ishwarya Lekshmi, Vikram Prabhu, Rahman, Kishore, Prakash Raj, etc and everyone did their part well.

Coming to Karthi as Vallavaraiyan, he is the Real hero of this film. He is the one who meets each and every character in this story. The movie travels along with his character and that's how this first part introduces various main characters of this series. His character is sarcastic, heroic, ferocious, funny, and brave which is greatly portrayed by Karthi. He takes away the brownie points and steals the show.

TECHNICAL ASPECTS:

The movie is technically brilliant. Especially Cinematographer Ravi Varman can be considered the Main hero behind the screen. His Camera angles and close-up shots are superb. Especially his usage of Natural Sunlight and different lighting themes aptly suited this historical film. The Art Department's work should be commendable as the rich grandeur sets of the historical era are recreated by them in the most natural and believable way. Music by A.R.Rahman is okay as the Songs are completely situational to the story that goes with the flow of the movie. But it is his BGM that leaves a solid impact that elevated the movie to the next level. The dialogue writers should be lauded as they gave neat historical dialogues that can be easily understood by the Contemporary audience.

Coming to Director Maniratnam, this is his dream project which he wanted to direct for 40 years. After several attempts finally he made this into a series. Maniratnam is successful in bringing out the soul and narration of this historical novel 'Ponniyan Selvan' written by Kalki. This movie can be termed as one of the best adaptations of a book. But unfortunately, it didn't appeal well to the Contemporary audience. Generally, Maniratnam movies will be slow-paced but keep you engaged. Sadly this movie runs on a confusing screenplay with numerous characters which will be hard to correlate. However, he is successful in bringing out the best output from the technical departments and extracting great performances from the cast. The last 45 mins of the film are greatly picturized and brought the movie on track.

THUMPS UP MERITS:

Performances

Technical departments

Historical adaptation

Visual grandeur

Climax, especially last 40 minutes

LET DOWN DRAWBACKS:

Novels are different from movies. While making a movie, the director needs to hook the audience with his engaging screenplay. But the movie fails a bit in this aspect. Also, the characters introduced are completely confusing and create a huge mess as we properly don't understand which character is referring to whom.

The movie has a high Tamil nativity factor which might be hard to understand for other language audiences. Also, the names of the important characters are hard to remember and that became a big demerit in understanding the proceedings of the film.

The slow-paced narration bores in some places

Also, some routine sword fight sequences are not that interesting

Lengthy runtime

CONCLUSION:

PS-l is the first part of the Ponniyin Selvan series. This part mainly focuses on character introductions. The movie is too long and takes its sweet time to make the audience what is actually happening in the proceedings. In places, it tests the patience of the audience with its slow-paced narration. But the movie is high on technical standards. Especially the Camera work is great as the screen looked beautiful and watchable till the end with a grand visual feast. Even though the movie runs at an uneven pace, it is the last 40 mins of the film which brought it on the right track. The climax is greatly engaging with its tight-end sequence. Also, there is a surprising cliffhanger at the end that makes you feel interested and wait for the next part. This movie is not narrated in a cinematic way but moved just like a novel. So keep your expectations strictly low and do not compare with other previous historical period dramas. If you are okay with slow-paced narration and prepare yourself to watch this historical film with some patience then you will be satisfied after coming from the theatres. Stay tuned...

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