Ponniyin Selvan shows us the way forward for Indian cinema-Entertainment News, Firstpost

Ponniyin Selvan is a cinema conceived as an epic. You can say an epic is not designed. But you would lose your energy. This was true in the times of Pakeezah and Mughal-E-Azam. Nowadays, the visual spectacle is encrypted in the narrative.

Sorry, but comedies about a death in a family or a poor day laborer struggling to buy a new bike won’t work in theaters.

Telling spectacular tales from Hindu mythology will do that.

Highligths.

It suddenly flashed in front of me when I watched the long-awaited Mani Ratnam trailer Ponnyyin Selvan. The images are disembodied but captivating. Intent and execution are unambiguous. It’s a film designed to wean audiences in theaters. You can’t enjoy all the ferocity of Vikram on horseback at home. And Aishwarya Rai Bachchan looks as untouched by the ravages of age as she was when she made Mani Ratnam Guruplaying the beauty of power behind the throne would look absurdly incongruous with you.

Ponnyyin Selvan it is cinema conceived as an epic. You can say an epic is not designed. But you would lose your energy. It was true at the time of Pakeezah and Mughal-E-Azam. Nowadays, the visual spectacle is encrypted in the narrative.

Ponnyyin Selvan looks sumptuous. I must admit that I felt nothing beyond the exhilaration of a complete scan of the senses. The show downpour is the need of the hour. These Chandamama-type stories patented by Rajamouli in Baahubali and RRRwas aggravated by KGF; for, what was KGF otherwise a celebration of bloodthirsty mythology with machine guns replacing swords

What is in a mutilation? A cut heard by any weapon feels the same.

Nevertheless, I now realize that these mythological/pseudo-historical/Primordial epics are what will work: Karthikeya 2and now brahmastra followed by Ponnyyin Selvan. I think the universe is trying to say something to our filmmakers.

My problem with these Nani Maa Ki Chandamama Kahaaniyan is their monotony. After a while, every Mughal Empire/Hindu Dynasty battle scene looks like what we saw in Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Bajirao Mastani and Ashutosh Gowariker Jodhaa Akbar.

What gives authenticity to Mani Ratnam’s Ponnyyin Selvan is not only the visual spectacle but also the authenticity of the actors. Akshay Kumar didn’t look convincing on a horse in Samrat Prithviraj. vikram in Ponnyyin Selvan Is.

Oh, another thing: that voiceover is Kamal Haasan’s. I thought Mani Ratnam and Kamal Haasan were over after Nayakan. It’s good to see them together.

Subhash K Jha is a Patna-based film critic who has written about Bollywood long enough to know the industry inside out. He tweets at @SubhashK_Jha.

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