“Ponniyin Selvan: Part 2” Review Roundup: What Critics are Saying About the Mani Ratnam Epic Period Drama

The much-awaited second installment of Mani Ratnam’s epic period drama, Ponniyin Selvan, has finally hit theaters, on 28 April 2023 worldwide.

The sequel, which boasts an impressive ensemble cast including Vikram, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Trisha Krishnan, Sobhita Dhulipala, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Jayaram, and R. Sarathkumar, has been making quite the hype and buzz for some time.

The first part of the film, Ponniyin Selvan: Part One, which released theatres worldwide on 30 September 2022 in standard and IMAX formats, introduced us to the world of Ponniyin Selvan, a screen adaptation of Kalki Krishnamurthy’s five-part literary epic of the same name.

The first part of the period drama, took us through a star-studded Pan-Indian cast, character’s motives, fights, politics and mysteries, while piquing our curiosity about what lies ahead for the much awaited conclusion to the world of PS.

The follow-up, Ponniyin Selvan: Part 2, winds up the saga in all its spectacular and sorrowful glory.

The film’s performances have received critical acclaim, just like the first part.

Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV writes, “The quality of the performances that the director extracts from the actors is extraordinarily consistent, with Chiyan Vikram’s powerful presence serving as a firm anchor for a few of the film’s most important sequences. The others in the cast, notably Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Karthi and Jayam Ravi, are also always on the ball and lose no opportunity to make their presence felt.”

Sukanya Verma of Rediff adds, “Apart from its exquisite aesthetic, Ponniyin Selvan: Part 2 also conveys a sense of human fallibility in the final chapter that’s usually missing from big-budget bonanzas.”

Janani K of India Today notes that the film is “immersive and visually stunning. Aided by brilliant performances and sharp dialogues, this is indeed a solid sequel.”

Pratikshya Mishra of The Quint observes that the second installment “has much richer humanity than its predecessor,” stating that, “Not only does the film delve into human greed, ambition, and the consequences of impulse and tactical disadvantage, it also shows us what happens when all fails.”

The film’s director, Mani Ratnam, is known for his mastery of cinematic storytelling, and Ponniyin Selvan: Part 2 seems to be no exception in that regard. Added the music of Oscar winner, A R Rehman, the film is one to be loved and cherished for times to come. It is indeed another winner for Tamil cinema.

The critics proudly state that the film is a cinematic work of monumental proportions, an epic that looks primed to stand the test of time.

Priya Hazra for ABP Live notes that the film “has put itself in a separate league where the drama takes center stage as opposed to flashy action sequences, despite the internet drawing parallels to the epic ‘Baahubali’.”

However, some critics have noted that the film’s runtime is a bit too long, and the pacing of the first half is slow, which becomes especially evident when the second half picks up the pace.

Nevertheless, as Shubham Kulkarni of Koimoi.com writes, “Ponniyin Selvan 2 works like a brilliant compensation for sitting through a scattered part 1.” The sequel has all the ingredients to “invest in this one.”

In conclusion, Ponniyin Selvan: Part 2, receives a big thumbs-up from critics with its rich performances, humanity, and excellent direction, music and cinematography, the film looks like a must-watch for anyone who loves epic period dramas.

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