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When Karthi played a Chola descendant in Aayirathil Oruvan, long before he became Ponniyin Selvan's Vanthiyathevan

Aayirathil Oruvan, directed by Selvaraghavan, was a fictional account of the Cholas, infused with magical realism

When Karthi played a Chola descendant in Aayirathil Oruvan, long before he became Ponniyin Selvan's Vanthiyathevan
Karthi in Aayirathil Oruvan and Ponniyin Selvan
  • P Sangeetha

Last Updated: 03.51 PM, Sep 29, 2022

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Actor Karthi is gearing up for one of the biggest films in his career, Ponniyin Selvan, directed by Mani Ratnam. Karthi plays Vallavarayan Vanthiyathevan, a friend of Crown Prince Aditha Karikalan. He hails from the Bana dynasty and also doubles up as a spy and commander of the Chola Army. The five-part novel penned by Kalki, begins with Vanthiyathevan riding his horse with two missions in hand - delivering the classified messages sent by Aditha Karikalan to his father Sundara Chola (Prakash Raj) and sister Kundavai (Trisha). The book predominantly follows the journey of Vanthiyathevan who becomes a focal point that connects the different characters as he traverses from one place to another. Vanthiyathevan is known to be one of the most popular characters in the novel.

Interestingly, this is not the first time that Karthi has played a character with a Chola connection. Over a decade ago, the actor starred in Selvaraghavan's fantasy thriller Aayirathil Oruvan (2010) that revolved around the decline of the Cholas. The film offers a fictional account of Cholas, who are under attack by the Pandyas. The Chola king sends his young son along with the people of his kingdom to a secret place. They take with them the fish-headed goddess, revered by the Pandyas. The Pandyas take an oath to murder the Cholas and bring back the goddess.

The film then cuts to 2008. As Indian archeologists try to locate the land where the Cholas went into hiding, they go missing one after the other. The government then sanctions a special expedition team to find out the cause, which is led by Anitha Pandiyan (Reema Sen). She is accompanied by Lavanya Chandramouli (Andrea Jeremiah), daughter of one of the missing archeologists and Muthu (Karthi), a porter. Muthu has his heart in the right place but is not treated well by the rest due to his social hierarchy. When they finally discover the Cholas after an arduous journey, they witness that the Cholas are a far cry from their glorious past. They are waiting for the messiah who will take them back to their homeland. But Karthi is unaware that he is the chosen one as foretold in an ancient prophecy. Muthu realises his destiny when he discovers the tattoo of a tiger on his back, the symbol of Cholas, amid all the magical realism. Will he succeed in his mission, that forms the rest of the plot.

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