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Ponniyin Selvan: Part 2 Movie Review: Vikram, Aishwarya Rai shine;Mani Ratnam dishes out a satisfying sequel

Modified On: 29 April 2023 | Reviewed By:

Storyline: The endgame to the battle of succession for the Chola kingdom results in some unexpected twists and turns. A plot to murder the king and the two princes of the Chola dynasty on the same day is hatched. Whether the Cholas survive the wrath of the Pandiya rebels, who are being led by the vengeful Nandhini?

Ponniyin Selvan - Part 2

Director: Mani Ratnam | Music Director: A.R. Rahman

Ponniyin Selvan - Part 2 Movie Poster

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Movie Review: PS2 begins with a prelude that captures the romance between crown prince Aaditha Karikalan (Vikram) and Nandhini (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) when they were young, and without saying too much in the form of dialogues, the director shows us the blossoming of love between a prince and an orphan girl, and the heartache it leaves in the wake of them being separated by forces beyond their control.

In fact, right until the climax, this doomed romance is what sustains the tension in this story and drives the characters to make decisions that have far-reaching impact. Even when he realises that an acceptance of an invitation to the Kadambur palace - a place where his own chieftains plotted against him - could be a folly, Karikalan is unable to turn it down. For his sister, Princess Kundhavai (Trisha), the mystery around Nandhini's lineage drives her actions. And the young prince Arulmozhi Varman (Jayam Ravi) ends up fending off the Pandiya rebels, who have sworn an oath to kill Karikalan, whose romance led to the murder of their king.

Pre intermission, the film continues with the brisk narration. We can see the daring attempts to murder Arulmozhi, and Vandhiyathevan's (Karthi) efforts to foil them. We get a sizzling romantic scene between Vandhiyathevan and Kundhavai, a truly heartwarming moment in a reunion of the siblings, and a thrilling pre-interval action sequence with a rousing AR Rahman background score.

The second half is more concerned with the fate of Karikalan, and Mani Ratnam fills the much-anticipated moment between Karikalan and Nandhini with so much dread and pain that we even forget the rest of the characters for a brief while. Vikram and Aishwarya are terrific in these portions.

The climactic portions are hugely impacted by this emotional high, as the events that follow a major character's death cannot match the suspense and the drama the narrative held until then.

Climax is rather underwhelming moment. The writers (Mani Ratnam, Jeyamohan and Kumaravel) sensibly give us a more agreeable twist, they fail to pack a punch with the speech that Arulmozhi delivers in the end while making the supreme sacrifice that makes him the titular hero of this sprawling epic.

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