Ponniyin Selvan-2 review: A stunning sequel that surpasses expectations and leaves viewers in awe

Ponniyin Selvan-2
Ponniyin Selvan-2 movie poster | IMDb

The reappearance of the Cholas is stirring up excitement, as Mani Ratnam's grandiose film, 'Ponniyin Selvan-2', is a cinematic masterpiece in two words. The opening sequence of the movie immediately transports us to the majestic era of the Chola dynasty. Fans have been wondering if all loose ends from the first movie will be tied up, and the answer is a resounding YES! All questions and uncertainties are addressed and resolved in the sequel, leaving no stone unturned for the audience. The complexity of political intrigue lies at the heart of Ponniyin Selvan, with the sequel delving even deeper into the web of schemes and plots woven between the Cholas and Pandyas. Yet amidst the intricate politics, the central storyline of the lead characters remains resolute and captivating.

The sequel brings back all our beloved characters from the first instalment and the return of Jayam Ravi's titular character 'Ponniyin Selvan' is a highly anticipated spoiler that cannot be ignored. However, it is just one of the many crucial components that make up the film's core. In this movie, the enigmatic character of Nandini, portrayed by Aishwarya Rai, reigns supreme, capturing the centre stage with her complex and captivating story. The film provides ample space for the audience to understand and empathize with her motives for revenge, revealing a sense of veracity that gradually unfolds throughout the narrative.

A notable sequence in the film warrants a special mention, as it offers a breathtakingly captivating experience. Aishwarya Rai and Vikram's characters are depicted in a mesmerizingly intimate frame, while the camera gracefully completes a 360-degree turn, showcasing the remarkable talent of the actors. Aishwarya Rai's astounding performance in the scene is particularly noteworthy, as she exudes an ethereal aura that effortlessly captivates the viewer's attention. The moment, lasting a mere minute or two, evokes a sense of sheer enchantment, elevating the film into a cinematic masterpiece. As always, Vikram shines with his charm and glory, beautifully captured through Mani Ratnam's lens. While Jayam Ravi's character, Ponniyin Selvan, receives ample screen time and his performance is commendable, there is a lingering feeling that his charm may be the only aspect he brings to the table, as is the case with Trisha's portrayal. However, despite this, they have all delivered their roles excellently, especially Karthi, who convincingly portrays the loyal character of Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan.

With a star-studded cast, it's impossible to single out any one actor, as all of them have given exceptional performances, leaving the audience mesmerized. Although there are multiple storylines at play in the movie, such as the enigma surrounding Oomai Rani and her association with the Cholas and Nandini, Aditha Karikalan's determination to reach Kadambur, and Ponniyin Selvan's escape, the script effectively resolves all loose ends and questions raised, leaving no room for confusion.

The magnificence of the movie is undoubtedly its crowning achievement. The stunning visual appeal of the colour palette, set pieces, costumes, and actors is impeccable. Mani Ratnam, the wizard of cinematic artistry, conjures up a sense of realism and poetry that is unparalleled. The characters in the movie possess an otherworldly quality that imbues them with godlike traits, beautifully capturing the grandeur of the Cholas. The film's compact storytelling approach is admirable, with each character serving a larger purpose and contributing to the bigger picture. The pace of the movie is consistent and engaging, and time seems to pass unnoticed. The gripping plot ensures that the audience does not feel like the movie is dragging at any point. Mani Ratnam's ability to capture the audience's attention through drama and politics is truly remarkable, especially considering that 'Ponniyin Selvan' is not your typical action-packed thriller. Yet, he manages to masterfully weave a narrative that keeps the viewer engaged throughout. While some war scenes may draw comparisons to 'Bahubali', his emphasis on realism elevates the believability of these scenes. Despite feeling like a mass-appealing addition to the movie, the climax sequence was executed skillfully, leading to a satisfying and appropriate ending for the film.

AR Rahman's music also plays an important part in captivating the viewer's heart with its pulsating beats and mystical beauty.

'Ponniyin Selvan-2' is a mesmerizing cinematic experience that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. Although there may be moments in the film that seem unnecessary or irrelevant, these minor flaws are easily overlooked. Mani Ratnam has captured the essence of Kalki Krishnamurthy's vision with exquisite precision in this enthralling sequel, making it a true masterpiece of Indian cinema.

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