The story is from 1958. Politician and filmmaker MG Ramachandran buys the rights to film adaptation of a historical Tamil novel ‘Ponniyan Selvan’ from writer Kalki Krishnamurthy. For this the author is paid Rs 10,000. If we calculate inflation, then in 2020 this amount will increase to 8 lakh 10 thousand. Jaimini Ganesan and Vyjayanthimala are cast in the film. Even before the shooting starts, MGR meets with an accident. It takes them six months to recover. Once again the film production rights are renewed and after four years film production begins. But it cannot be continued, due to some reason the film gets stuck again.
Forty years pass, now comes 1994. Famous filmmaker Mani Ratnam says in an interview, ‘Filmmaking on this novel is my dream project.’ There is an entry in the project, another legend filmmaker-actor Kamal Haasan of the South, or rather his entry has already been done. He had already bought the rights to this novel. Mani and Haasan start working on the first draft together. The car moves forward, the money is multiplied. What is this? This film is not just a financial vibe. So the plan gets sabotaged again.
This dream project of his could not come out of Mani Ratnam’s mind. So at the end of 2010, the efforts to finish the construction of ‘Ponnian Selvan’ start once again. Work on the script begins with writer Jaymohan. A budget of 100 crores is fixed. The idea of doing a film together with a big production is formed. Big names like composer AR Rahman, cinematographer Santosh Sivan, actors Vijay and Mahesh Babu are attached to the film. The names of Priyanka Chopra and Anushka Reddy also flutter in the heat. But the film stops again. This time the reason for not getting permission to shoot in temples of Tamil Nadu including Mysore Palace, Lalita Mahal.
The film is still twirling in Mani’s mind. Efforts to make a film once again start in 2019. This time Ratnam gets the support of Laika Productions. South actors Vikram, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Prakash Raj, Jayam Ravi, Trisha and Aishwarya Lakshmi are finalized after all the ups and downs. Not easily, but yes, this hair vine gets stuck with difficulty. It happens that due to the epidemic of Kovid-19, film production gets interrupted twice. Ultimately the film is shot at different locations across the country and (in some parts) Thailand.
Problems continue. A horse dies during a shooting in Hyderabad. Filmmakers also have to face trial in this regard. A complaint is filed against Ratnam, his production house Madras Talkies and the horse owner under the Cruelty to Animals Act and the Indian Penal Code. It is said on behalf of ‘PETA’ that it is barbaric to leave tired horses to play in war despite the availability of technology like CGI.
Shooting stops, goes on, then stops, then starts again. But eventually the film gets made. After starting film production for the first time in 1958, the film is fortunate to go to theaters in 2022. The film which could not be made in almost 64 years, when it was made, it became so long that it had to be divided into two parts. The total budget of both the parts was found to be 500 crores. Now the first part ‘Ponnian Selvan-1’ ie ‘PS-1’ was released on Friday 30 September.
Troubles are still not ready to leave the side of the film. Now some local groups living in Canada have warned against releasing the film in Canada, saying that ‘Silver Screen’ will be changed to ‘Piece Screens’ if it is released. It is a matter of happiness that there is no resentment in the country and the audience is ready to welcome it. How much and how the response is received, it will be known on Friday. This original Tamil film is releasing in Hindi, Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam language dubbed versions. Let us tell you that Mani Ratnam’s favorite composer AR was responsible for composing the score and soundtrack in the film. Rahman’s shoulders. The soundtrack has six original songs composed by Rahman. Ravi Burman has taken up the responsibility of cinematography.
Talk about a novel. ‘Ponniyan Selvan’ is a famous historical Tamil novel written by Kalki Krishnamurthy. Written in five volumes, the novel spans over 2,250 pages. This novel tells the story of Arulmozhivarman. Who was later recognized as Rajaraja Chola. He was one of the great kings of Tamil history who ruled in the 10th-11th century.
This hysterical fiction first appeared in a weekly magazine series during the 1950s. In the Tamil magazine ‘Kalki’, it remained a favorite of readers for three and a half years (from 29 October 1950 to 16 May 1954). This series was so popular that every week readers used to wait for its sequel. It was published in the form of a book in five volumes in 1955. To tell this historical story of the old times, 2,210 pages were needed. In this novel, the author has included many real historical characters and events.
Film making is in the hands of film creators and producers. It is in the hands of the distributor to release it and reach the audience. After this its owner is the theater goers, the audience. It doesn’t matter to the audience that how much trouble you had to go through, how much effort you had to put into making the film. He says in cruel words ‘You have the itch to make a film, you know. All we know is that the film will entertain us, only then we will withdraw money from the aunt.’ So the future of ‘Ponnian Selvan-1’ ie ‘PS-1’ will be decided by the box office on 30 September. All we can say from our side is – best wishes.