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  • Writer's pictureVenki

Ponniyin Selvan 2 Movie Review - A Less Impactful Conclusion

I loved part 1 a lot though most of my friends who read the novel felt the film did not do justice to Kalki’s historical fiction. But my question was whats the point of making a film with a 1:1 mapping. At the end of the day creative liberty and dramatization is a directors choice. Some stay close and some diverge.

Having said that, part 2 to me was a bit of a let down as neither the revenge nor the love story failed to create the needed impact for the wait and hype that was there. Many of the characters did not get enough meat in the second outing and you just see a glimpse of them. Vikram as Karikalan , Ravi Varmans immaculate frames, ARR music stood out from the rest of this over crowded film. The ace film maker Mani Ratnam used ARR to the maximum and the duo delivered once again on that front. The bgm alone created the mood and tempo to otherwise dragged story line. Most part of the story is told through a snippet song including the not so epic fight finale sequence. The trimmed version of the songs was another disappointment for me.

MR tried a different approach to the story telling and to my surprise second part did not pick up where the part 1 ended, but he focused on the younger year love story of Karikalan and Nandini. I was expecting a solid love story and more importantly why the revenge is so key to the story and that's where you feel rage and passion missing. I never felt it as a history impacting love story. The good things is there is not much of grandiose and over the top stylization like few recent movies from Kannada and Telgu. Thats where MR tried to make a difference, here it's more of subtle touches scale and emotional in nature story approach. He flipped the character arc and gave importance to drama with bit of fun. The film's title and story also did not do justice to Arulmozhi Varman (the actual PS). The spearheads were Vikram and Aishwarya for most part.

The good thing is dram felt more grounded and few characters were fleshed out nicely. The slow burn period drama may not appeal to a wider audience for sure or faithful followers of Kalki. In the confrontation scenes between two lead pairs, the lime light goes to Vikram as there is pain and anguish written all over his face, i cant say the same for Nandini though. The clever use of camera angles fitted the characters relentless nature also. The shot of Arunmozhi Varman moving between Monks is a treat to watch. Unfortunately with constant shift in chapters, location and story, we will miss the connect and intimacy. Its a transport feel from one place to another, so focus is needed to understand the plot as the flow is not coherent.

In the end it definitely is a noteworthy film with a realistic take on a historic tale. I came out half satisfied though.

Verdict - 3/5(A Chola Pride)

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