Ponniyin Selvan - Part 2 Tamil Movie
After the thrilling climax of PS-1, where non-readers of the novel were left to wonder who saved Ponniyin Selvan and Vanthiyathevan from drowning in the ocean, PS-2 starts with a flashback showing a young Aditya Karikalan wooing Nandhini. The story then proceeds with Arulmozhi and Vanthiyathevan getting saved by Oomai Rani (played by Aishwarya Rai), followed by the Soodamani Viharam episode that unites the siblings.
While the casting and grandeur of PS-1 impressed audiences, PS-2 had the challenge of delivering the key sequences and unwinding the knots that were introduced in the first half. Unfortunately, the movie failed to do so. The weakness of trying to condense a 2000-page novel into a few hours of celluloid images was apparent on the screen, with haphazard scenes and key characters being omitted.
As an ardent fan of the novel, I found the movie disappointing, and even those who have not read the book may find it confusing. While there were a few sequences that were noteworthy, such as the romantic scenes between Vanthiyathevan and Kundhavai with the melodic 'Aga Naga' playing in the background, and Vikram's brilliant performance during Aditya Karikalan's episode in Kadambur, overall, the film was a let-down.
Vanthiyathevan and Arulmozhi (played by Karthi and Ravi) were strangely ignored and did not get any whistle-worthy sequences. The interval block with the elephant sequence was underwhelming, especially for readers who felt the adrenaline rush while reading the novel. Disappointing sequences filled the screen and made the entire experience a damp squib. The crowning glory during the climax was another disappointment that neither did justice to the character of Maduranthakan nor the novel.
Moreover, important characters like Poonkuzhali and Senthan Amuthan disappeared in the latter half, and the new character in the form of the Rashtrakutha king's daughter was not properly introduced. The insipid war sequences and Aishwarya Rai's unemotional portrayal of Oomai Rani were also major drawbacks.
Technically, the film was consistent in the first half, with AR Rahman delivering his best. Thotta Tharani's extravagant sets deserve applause. Sreekar Prasad has done his best to edit the disjointed pieces to make them look cohesive. The sound design was also decent.
Overall, PS-2 failed to live up to the expectations set by PS-1. From the screenplay to the dialogues and execution, there were huge gaps, and the movie appeared to drag, making audiences impatient for it to end. Kalki might have turned in his grave!