Ponniyin Selvan 2 Movie Review: Top 10 First Impressions

Sruthi Ganapathy Raman

Where It Left Off

Mani Ratnam isn’t interested in picking up where he left off. The film opens with a water body, but it’s not the vast blue sea that we last saw erupt. A young Nandini (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) emerges from the river, and locks eyes with Aditya Karikalan (Vikram).

Off Balance

Mani Ratnam knocks us off balance, opening the sequel to a decorated and buoyant period piece like PS-1 with moving vignettes of raw, unrestrained passion and grief.


In PS-2, the director is more interested in telling a story of tragedy nestled in the complicated fabric of Nandini and Aditya Karikalan’s dizzying romance.


But this doesn’t mean that other Chola favourites are forgotten. Kundavai and Vanthiyathevan share a gorgeous moment in the middle of the sea, with the scene written with just the right amount of sauciness to pull us in.

Darker, Grainier Cousin

If the first film was a vibrant assortment of Chola pride and conflict, the sequel is its darker, grainier cousin. Since Mani introduced much of the film’s characters and their stories in the first part itself, the sequel gives him the time to really ground and humanise his wounded, larger-than-life characters.

Breathtaking Visuals

Ravi Varman’s visuals are breathtaking in the film, and Ratnam uses his camera in a characteristic fashion to make us feel depths in our hearts without uttering so much as a word.


Since PS-1 established most of the cliffhangers, Mani offers answers to all our questions in PS-2 (sometimes questions that even book lovers didn’t have a proper answer to). The director approaches the ambiguities of the book head-on, making it obvious that this is Mani Ratnam’s take on Kalki’s nuanced world.

True To Themselves

A lot of effort has been put into making sure the characters stay true to their own selves, something that often gets overlooked in sequels.

Character’s Trajectory

Every small detail of a character’s trajectory in the first part returns to haunt us as they get their own forms of closures in a way.

A R Rahman

Finally, the unforgettable world of Ponniyin Selvan 2 is as much Mani Ratnam’s as it is AR Rahman’s. The composer’s generous and intuitive use of songs in the score to drive the story forward is a move that makes the viewing experience a moving multidimensional affair.

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Next: Ponniyin Selvan 2 Movie Review: An Exceptionally Intimate Epic That Thrives When It’s Not Chasing Bigness

What makes PS2 a special film is how we’re always accepting of these characters for who they are as regular people, devoid of the stature their positions come with