The trailer for Mani Ratnam’s magnum opus ‘Ponniyin Selvan 2’ or ‘PS 2’ — distilled from a yesteryear Tamil literary classic — is out and it promises an action-packed adventure ride for viewers.
The 2022 prequel released in many languages and ended on a high and was deemed a critical and commercial success. It boasts of a star-studded cast drawn from various Indian film industries. The second instalment, like the first part, is based on the novel by the Tamil litterateur and freedom fighter Kalki Krishnamurthy. ‘PS 2’ is set to release in the theatres on April 28.
Dubbed the “Indian Game of Thrones”, ‘PS 2’ expands on the rifts within different branches of the ruling Chola dynasty — which ruled large parts of India and East Asia between the 9th and 13th century BCE. Actors ‘Jayam’ Ravi, Vikram, Prakash Raj and Trisha Krishnan reprise their roles as members of the Chola dynasty that are under attack and repulse them. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, R Sarath Kumar and R Rahman, whose wife is sister to Academy Award winning composer AR Rahman’s wife, play the antagonists plotting to overthrow the dynasty.
Rai Bachchan has a dual role, and this is set to create a lot of intrigue among fans, one of which is that of the primary antagonist.
The trailer offers glimpses of Vikram — who plays Aditha Karikalan, the eldest son heading the Chola dynasty — coming face to face with his demons; while ‘Jayam’ Ravi, who plays the titular character of Ponniyin Selvan leads the rearguard against the kingdom. He receives support from his associate Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan, portrayed by Karthi. The cast is capped by Aishwarya Lekshmi, Sobhita Dhulipala, Lal and Prabhu.
A single from the movie released earlier this week and has added to the anticipation around it. Going by the trailer, the second instalment is likely to be an exciting one.
The novel was authored in the 1950s and appeared in the weekly Tamil magazine ‘Kalki’ before being compiled into five volumes. Multiple stars over the decades attempted a cinematic adaptation but failed to do so. Some of them include the matinee idol-turned-politician MG Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR, and Kamal Haasan. According to media reports, Haasan purchased the rights from MGR, who aborted his cinematic adaptation after he sustained an injury. Ratnam, too, once evinced a plan to adapt the epic to the large screen but couldn’t proceed following various constraints.
Part of the allure with the Cholas is that they ruled over large swathes of the Indian sub-continent and East Asia in their heyday. Historical records describe that this dynasty maintained extensive trade and diplomacy links with various parts of the world.
‘PS-1’ (not to be confused with Sony’s gaming console), was reportedly the highest grosser at the box office in India in 2022. Bankrolled by Lyca Productions and Ratnam’s Madras Talkies, the movie has AR Rahman as its music composer, an associate of the director since ‘Roja’ (1992). Ratnam has written the movies’ screenplay along with author Jeyamohan — a writer and literary critic in Tamil and Malayalam — and Elango Kumaravel.