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Ponniyin Selvan OTT release: Here is all you need to know about the Mani Ratnam film

Mani Ratnam's film will be available to all Amazon Prime Video subscribers beginning November 4.

Ponniyin Selvan OTT release: Here is all you need to know about the Mani Ratnam film
A still from Ponniyin Selvan-1
  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 04.08 AM, Oct 31, 2022


Mani Ratnam's Ponniyin Selvan has taken a long time to make. The period film, based on Tamil literary icon Kalki's novel series of the same name, has been on many filmmakers' wish lists for more than 60 years. When the adaptation eventually hit theatres on September 30, it broke both Tamil and international box office records. The film grossed Rs 225 crore in Tamil Nadu alone.

Not only is the film breaking records, but so is the 72-year-old novel, which is gaining new readers every day. The success of Ponniyin Selvan-1 has boosted the sales of books, which are available in several English translations and audiobooks.

According to a Chennai-based publisher, Kalki's work has seen a 700% spike in book sales since Ponniyin Selvan reached the big screen. Unless it's someone like Amish Patel or Chetan Bhagat, a book with a recognised author usually sells up to 2000 copies.

Sales of Ponniyin Selvan e-books have climbed tenfold, but the Tamil edition has grown dramatically. Surprisingly, the younger generation lacks the time to complete a five-part series. And, for them, audiobooks are a far more handy method to connect with our classics. Storytel, for example, saw a 21% rise in listenership in the previous month.

Karthi, Vikram and Jayam Ravi in PS-1
Karthi, Vikram and Jayam Ravi in PS-1

But what entices readers to read the book after seeing the Mani Ratnam directorial, which covers a substantial amount of the same? Each of the characters has so many layers that it may be difficult to understand them all in the film.

The Chola family is at the forefront and centre of Kalki's universe, but it also includes the Pallavas, Bana, Pazhuvettaraiyars, Malayamans, and Kodambalur families. Kalki's novel series, which was first published in the early 1950s, quickly gained popularity and a following for its innovative take on the Chola empire, a Tamil kingdom that was at its pinnacle during the mediaeval period.

Ponniyin Selvan-1's success has caused a significant shift in how we see target audiences in the context of the box office. The majority of theatregoers are under the age of 35, accounting for 70% of the audience. This one, on the other hand, drew in the 70-year-olds.

While Ponniyin Selvan-1 has performed admirably in the Tamil Nadu and international markets, its reception in the north Indian region has been lukewarm at best. Because the tale is deeply anchored in Tamil culture and sensibility, the film is performing well in Tamil Nadu.

The book, which recounts the events that led to Arunmozhi Varman ascending to the throne as Raja Raja Chola I, is said to sell over a lakh copies each year. This particular place that the book has among Tamilians all across the world has contributed to its success at the film office.

Here are some of the main characters you should be familiar with before watching Ponniyin Selvan-1:

Sundara Chola (Prakash Raj)

When the book opens, the Chola dynasty's ill ruler is bedridden in the Thanjavur fort.

Arulmozhi Varman aka Raja Raja Cholan (Jayam Ravi)

Despite being the Chola line's monarch, Arulmozhi, the youngest of the Chola siblings, is adored by all and recognised for his sincerity. When the book begins, he is in Sri Lanka. Even when he invades a country, he does so with compassion.

Vallavarayan Vanthiyathevan (Karthi)

He is the novel's heart, a smart and energetic warrior. The other characters are presented to the readers through him. He is tasked with bringing two critical messages to Kundavai and Sundara Chola, but while travelling, he encounters Pandya conspirators, a key occasion that leads him to decide the fate of the dynasty.

Kundavai (Trisha)

Kundavai, Sundara Chola's second child and only daughter, is noted for her political intelligence as well as her beauty. The book indicates that Sundara Chola frequently talks with her about things about his reign, which endangers a few other men in the kingdom. She's also the mentor of her younger brother, Arulmozhi Varman.

Nandini (Aishwarya Rai)

Nandini, a vengeful face, is a creation of Kalki's imagination. She is known for her beauty and has met practically every individual from the Chola empire for various reasons.

Jayaram as Azhwarkadiyan Nambi
Jayaram as Azhwarkadiyan Nambi

Aditya Karikalan (Vikram)

Aditya Karikalan, Sundara Chola's eldest son, is the dynasty's crown prince. He's a ferocious warrior who led the Chola invasion against the Pandyas, a rival Tamil empire.

Azhwarkadiyan Nambi (Jayaram)

He's a Chola spy who keeps numerous secrets and has eyes and ears all across the empire. Nambi, like Nandini and Poonguzhali, is a fictitious figure.

Poonguzhali (Aishwarya Lekshmi)

She is in love with Arulmozhi Varman, a self-sufficient boatman. She is also an important aspect of the Ponniyin Selvan universe because she saves the lives of numerous characters.

Vanathi (Sobhita Dhulipala), a shy princess, Madhurantakan (Rahman), the Pazhuvettaraiyar brothers (Sarathkumar and Parthiban), and others appear in the novel.

The period drama has been launched on Prime Video, and subscribers may watch it for a week for Rs 199.

It is set in 969 AD and depicts Pandiyas promising to make the royals bleed and Chola Empire chieftains plotting an insurrection. The plot revolves around the battle, political turmoil, and puzzles, and there is a lot of action in the film. Will Aditya Karikalan, the wild prince, or the rebel Pandiya Amarabujanga succeed Arunmozhi Varman as the next king?

The film was co-written by B Jeyamohan, Elango Kumaravel, and Mani Ratnam, and it is the first instalment of Kalki Krishnamurthy's two-part novel. Ponniyin Selvan was directed by Mani Ratnam and produced by Lyca Productions and Madras Talkies.