Ponniyin Selvan, Kalki Krishnamurthy’s five-part historical novel on the Chola dynasty, not only captivated generations of Tamil readers, it also cast a spell on Tamil filmmakers and actors, including M.G. Ramachandran, Kamal Haasan, Mani Ratnam and several others.
It has taken ₹500 crore and a host of stars -Aishwarya Rai, Karthi, Vikram, ‘Jayam’ Ravi, Sarath Kumar, Parthiban and others – for Mani Ratnam to bring the book alive onscreen as ‘Ponniyin Selvan Part I’, which was released in theatres on Friday to packed houses.
The film has opened to largely positive reviews from critics and audiences and house-full shows in over 650 screens.
“The audience has given an extraordinary response to the film. All major theatres in main cities are sold out,” said G. Dhananjayan, founding member, Tamil Film Active Producers’ Association and founder, BOFTA film institute in Chennai.
“If one were to give a sense of the opening, it has been better than actor Vijay’s recent film, Beast, which saw terrific opening. The advance booking for second week is also great. The first part ends with a good lead to part II. This film is likely to be one of the biggest hits in Tamil cinema,” he said.
Sources in the trade point out that the number of screens and shows for Ponniyin Selvan Part I is bound to increase as actor Dhanush’s Naane Varuven, directed by his brother, Selvaraghavan, has received not-so-great response from the audience as well as the critics.
Tamil Nadu Theatre and Multiplex Owners’ Association president Tiruppur Subramaniam said most theatres sold tickets for 10 days straight.
“The film is a big hit. The reviews are good, which has made sure that the tickets for the next 10 days are booked. Tickets for every show are getting sold,” he said.
The second part of PS I is likely to release in second half of 2023 and is currently under post-production stage.