PS 1 (Poniyan selvan 1)

PS 1 set in the 9th century, the film depicts the early life of Chola Prince Arulmozhivarman (Jayam Ravi), who rises in popularity and becomes the most powerful king of his time in southern India.

The story could have unfolded in many ways, but writer Kalki – and now filmmaker Mani Ratnam – chose to tell it through the eyes of Vanthiyathevan (Karthi). His only connection to the story is Aditha Karikalan’s friend, but he is the focal point of the film’s unfolding.

About – PS 1

  • Genre: Action, Adventure, History, Drama
  •  First Language: Tamil
  • Director: Mani Ratnam
  •  Producer: Mani Ratnam, A. Subaskaran, Suhasini
  • Author: Mani Ratnam, B. Jeyamohan, Muthuraman, Kumaravel
  • Release Date (Theatrical): September 30, 2022
  • Limited Box office (US gross): $5.7 million
  • Duration: 2h47m
  • Distributor: IMAX Entertainment
  • Production Company: Lyca Productions, Madras Talkies
  • Dubbed :Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada
  • Cinematography: Ravi Varman
  • Music: A. R. Rahman

Mani Ratnam’s latest period drama is about a power struggle: Emperor Sundara Chola’s (Prakash Raj) health is failing, and he is looking for a new leader for the Chola kingdom. There are a few suitors, the first of whom is his son Aditha Karikalan (Vikram). But Sundara Chola also has another son, Arunmozhi Varman (Jayam Ravi) and a daughter, Kundavai (Trisha).

Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan (Karthi), the valiant warrior chief of the Vannar, narrates an exciting journey into the Chola Empire. Queen Nandini (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), known as Mandakini Devi, wife of Periya Pazhuvettaraiyar (R. Sarathkumar), is on a mission to kill Aditya Karikalan (Vikram) and help her husband ascend the throne. Arulmozhivarman exposed the conspiracy and many other secrets about Nandini and other ministers. Vandiyadevan is charged and instructed to bring Arulmozhivarman from Sri Lanka to secure the throne.


Cast – PS 1

Character                        Actor

Aditya Karikalan           Vikram

Arulmozhi Varman      Jayam Ravi

Vallavaraiyan                Karthi

Kundhavi                       Trisha Krishnan

Nandini                          Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Sundar Chola                Prakash Raj

Periya Paluvetaraiyar    Sarathkumar 

Chinna Paluvetaraiyar   Parthiban

Young Nandini                 Sara Arjun

Chief Kaalamugar         Makarand Deshpande


  1. Ponni Nadhi
  2. Chola Chola
  3. Ratchasa Maamaney
  4. Alaikadal
  5. Devaralan Aattam
  6. Sol

Positive points

The story could have unfolded in many ways, but writer Kalki – and now filmmaker Mani Ratnam – chose to tell it through the eyes of Vanthiyathevan (Karthi). His only connection to the story is Aditha Karikalan’s friend, but he is the focal point of the film’s unfolding. When Vanthiyathevan learns something new, his eyes widen. Like us. Traveling everywhere to deliver important messages, he uses caution, and is happy along the way. Vanthiyathevan is what we, the audience, watch with a keen interest in a film that brings together equal parts courage, greed, truth and deceit.

The source material has many characters that go on and on emotionally, Mani Ratnam happily takes them all and gives it to his cinematography. It helps that it has a powerful star. Karthi almost steals the show, especially in the first half, giving off a sense of zest for life, thanks to his style (“Un vaal oda naaku koormai,” who his character, showing that he is a good speaker). Vikram gives a powerful performance; watch him scream during the sequence where he sadly remembers bones from the past. Jayam Ravi is careful and considerate in his actions, while maintaining the dignity associated with royalty.

And like Nandini and Kundavi, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Trisha know their Tamil accent very well… but the conflict between them requires more conflict. Aishwarya Rai looks a million dollars and shines in a few movies that showcase her badass looks, but there’s so much more. We have to wait for the next event.

What audiences will follow – and perhaps be surprised by – is the film’s ability to transport you to a world centuries past. Be it the rich sequences in the kingdom or the beautiful military setting, Ponniyin Selvan: 1 has invested in the big screen, although one feels that the sea side of the second half could have been put in better. Thota Tharani’s production design is a must, as is Ravi Varman’s almost cloak-and-dagger camerawork; A time-lapse shot from atop a beautiful horse as if bathed in beautiful sunlight. AR Rahman’s music, Mani Ratnam’s main film since Roja was green-lit, is experimental and uplifting to the martial arts, with the songs being placed to help tell the story.

Trisha in ‘Ponniyin Selvan: 1’

That Mani Ratnam succeeded in the theme MGR and Kamal Haasan dreamed of doing, is no small task. But then, who is the real Mani Ratnam? Is it like Karthik (Alaipayuthe) or Amarkant (Dil Se…), who makes his characters full of life and love, as we think when we love? Or is it like Surya (Thalapathi) or Velu Naicker (Nayakan), who have important choices and decisions to make? In short, avaru nallavara kettavara? In PS: 1, it must manage both. For every ounce of goodness he shows in Arunmozhi Varman, there is an attractive Nandini to balance it. For every tough second in Aditha Karikalan, there is a happy moment that Vandhiyathevan offers. Ponniyin Selvan: 1 is 167 episodes of strong storyline supported by visual beauty.

The film manages to take Kalki’s textbook forward. Not a single film in which the director, crew, and dialogue writer showed a modicum of passion for grain, storytelling, or historical art. Take sword fighting movies for example. Turn them on to the Troy series, where Brad Pitt wields a physical presence in his dramatic portrayal of Achilles. In Ponniyin Selvan, on the other hand, you have Dravidian actors with belly panting as they wield swords. No one tells our Dravidian heroes that it is the sword, not the Dravidian age, that should be thrust? The dialogue, written by Jeyamohan, is very emotional. It is as if an artist who could not transport himself to the Chola period and the dialogue of pen and ink would transport his viewers to that time.

Negative points

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in ‘Ponniyin Selvan: 1’

The problem with this type of show is that all the characters, except the protagonists, are not important. You continue to think about Poonguzhali (Aishwarya Lekshmi) and her connection to the main plot, as you do some of the other characters who make it long. Only Jayaram as Azhawarkadiyan Nambi leaves a mark, mainly because of his character and voice. Another problem is the presence of 12 important characters in ancient Tamil, which will be a challenge for the viewers.

There are shocking inaccuracies when it comes to history. For example, there are scenes in movies where fortresses are breached and gunpowder is fired. Chola kings did not use powder. In fact, even during the time of Krishnadeva Raya, Indian kings were very careful about powder. Even a high school student would know that!


Recently watched it on prime and was disappointed with it. I was expecting a bahubali like gandeure with a more intreaguing story and detailed characters.The movie is held back by its direction which I felt was a injustice to the much appreciated book.

I found many scenes are unnecessary, they add nothing to the story and are used just to introduce some character. You find these scenes far too long and pointless.The climax of this part is ruined by hurried up story telling and leaves you unsatisfied and questioning the logicality of the chain of events that make no sense.

Lots of money has been spent on this project and it shows. Scenes are grand, sets are huge (though seem fake sometimes). Locations are pristine and beautiful, and must be beautiful to watch on bug screen.All the actors have done fabulous job especially Vikram, Aishwarya, Trisha.

Mani Ratnam has created another masterwork. Given that Ponniyin Selvan is an all-time masterpiece of Indian literature, one could have forgiven the makers for not living up to the expectations. Mani Ratnam and his team, on the other side, produce with PS1. Vikram, Karthi, and the rest of the strong cast did not let us down. The screenplay, direction, and music maintain their high expectations across the film. The various disruptions that the film experienced before at last striking cinemas make sense. Finally, Mani Sir’s PS1 is a must watch.

The best Movie Experience I have experienced. First I’d like to appreciate AR Rahman Sir For the best music in his life time. Mani Ratnam sir Literally Killed me in every frame. Acting is impeccable in the movie of everyone. No one can replace any of the characters. The intervel Scene With music just Killed it AR peak. Everything is perfect in the movie. Thankyou mani sir for making a master cinematic art. I’m gonna re-watch the movie.

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