Ponniyin Selvan 1 Review: Mani Ratnam Creates Highclass Adaptation Of Kalki’s Classic

Star CastVikram, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Trisha, Shobita Dulipala, Aiswarya Lekshmi, Prabhu, Jayaram, Vikram Prabhu, Sarathkumar, Prakash Raj
DirectorMani Ratnam
Kiddaan Rating

If you are someone who loves an all-rounder film with mysteries, suspense, secrets, drama, love stories and great visuals, Ponniyin Selvan 1 might win your heart. In this Ponniyin Selvan 1 movie review, we will discuss every perspective of the film; story, performances, direction, screenplay, music and a lot more. 

Ponniyin Selvan 1 is directed by ace filmmaker Mani Ratnam, hence fans really have very high hopes from the project. But before spending your money on the film’s tickets, do read this Ponniyin Selvan 1 movie review to have an idea if it will be a waste of money or a complete paisa wasool deal. 


If you have already read the popular book Ponniyin Selvan, you must be aware of the film’s story. While the debate of choosing better between books or films will go on, no one can deny the fact that the two cannot be compared on any basis.

Mani Ratnam’s film Ponniyin Selvan 1 is based on the novel of the same name written by Kalki Krishnamurthy. It is a story of a royal family. It revolves around Vanthiyathevan (Karthi) who sends Aditha Karikalan (Vikram) to deliver a message to his father Sundara Chola (Prakash Raj) and his sister Kundhavi (Trisha). The message reveals someone’s planning of bringing down the empire. The hunt for the person behind the conspiracy begins, and it is found out that Nandini (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) is behind all this. But before you start believing that we have spoiled the film for you by giving a major spoiler, let us also unveil that the real mystery is still under wraps.

What is the reason behind Nandini’s planning to ruin the empire? What is her motive, and what made her turn so revengeful? There is a lot behind all this, and to unfold all the mysteries and secrets, you will have to watch Ponniyin Selvan 1  in theatres near you.  

Acting & Performances 

Ponniyin Selvan 1 is a film with a grand and rich star cast. It features actors like Vikram, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Trisha, Shobita Dulipala, Aiswarya Lekshmi, Prabhu, Jayaram, Vikram Prabhu, Sarathkumar, Prakash Raj in lead roles.

Each and every actor despite their screen space did an amazing job in the field of acting in Ponniyin Selvan 1. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan played a double role; an elderly woman and a young princess, and we were spellbound in reaction to her amazing performance. Karthi played the prince and the most important lead in the film, hence it was difficult to keep our eyes off him. We also loved Trisha in the role of Kundhavi, and especially her silent cat fights with Aishwarya Rai were banger. 

Though we are happy with the role and character of every actor, Jayam Ravi was a bit disappointing. Not because he didn’t act well (he was outstanding), but because his character was not given much importance and was just randomly introduced. Although we also believe, this happened because, mayne the filmmakers have a lot more for him to offer in Ponniyin Selvan 2.

Not going to lie, it is really difficult to choose one among these outstanding actors as the best in Ponniyin Selvan 1. But still, if we had to do it with no options left, we would vote for Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Karthi. As already revealed, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan played double roles in the film, hence it was obviously a big task to excel in both. 

On the other hand, Karthi in the role of Vanthiyathevan was the ultimate show stealer. He in the role of the prince was convincing and impactful. From his body language to his expression, everything made us bow in front of the actor’s skills.

Music & Cinematography

Ponniyin Selvan 1 is an epic period drama which will keep you hooked and entertained throughout. And any film is incomplete without the active role of music and cinematography in it. The music of this film was handled by the living legend AR Rahman. And some of the songs did not really feel impactful, but there were some which enhanced the overall performance, especially the song Kaveri. But overall it was average when it comes to music. 

On the other hand, the cinematography of Ponniyin Selvan 1 is an art piece created by Ravi Varman. Well, the entire film looked extremely beautiful on silver screens, but our hats are off for all the fight sequences. They were shot with so many details and exciting angles that uplifted our engagement in the film’s story. 

Direction & Screenplay

Ponniyin Selvan 1 is directed by the master filmmaker Mani Ratnam who has helmed amazing movies like Roja, Bombay, Iruvar and a lot more. The moment Mani Ratnam was announced as the director of this project, it became obvious that this film is also going to be at par with cinematic excellence.  

We don’t really think that any other filmmaker could have extracted such amazing performances from every team member to make the film look so grand and good as a final product.

On the other hand, Mani Ratnam has also worked on the film’s screenplay along with Elango Kumaravel. And these two artists need all the appreciation for making sure the screenplay of this period drama-action film is well written and tight. It was only a few moments where the film lost its grip, but otherwise, it was totally engaging. 

It is actually a tough job to make sure a period drama maintains the public interest and does not turn boring like a lifeless history lecture. 


Overall, we can finish thi Ponniyin Selvan 1 movie review by saying Ponniyin Selvan 1 is a fine masterpiece adaptation of the novel with the name. While many people might compare the film with the blockbuster Baahubali franchise, it is something that we suggest. Many people will like this film over Baahubali, and the other will stand by Prabhas starrer. But both the films are actually very different.

While Baahubali is directed by SS Rajamouli, the director’s approach is grandeur and epic sequences. On the other hand, Mani Ratnam is not a filmmaker who believed in adding masaledaar drama in the film’s scenes. He has always believed in the beauty of subtleness and reality. Hence, it depends on your taste which of these films will actually impress you more. 

Concluding the Ponniyin Selvan 1 movie review by stating it a must-watch. It is a wonderful film and bliss for cinema fans. From great VFX, consumes, fight sequences to gripping screenplay and appealing cinematography, Ponniyin Selvan 1 is a win for the silver screen. Don’t miss out, watch the film today. 

Watch the trailer of Ponniyin Selvan 1 here; 

Share on: