It is basically the story of RajaRajaChozhan and how he became the King. I personally feel it is a must read novel for everyone, since it glorifies the conquest of Chola kings and the rich and vast tamil culture at those times. Also, one can know how far we were advanced in military and espionages.
But this blog is not about the novel and the rich tamil culture or advances. This blog is about a dream film, I was expecting ever since i read Ponniyin Selvan in my first year of my college. Ponniyin Selvan is a novel of many characters with different personalities. No one’s character is white or black.. There is a grey shade in everyone’s character. When Hollywood can make Lord of the rings, When Mollywood can make films like Pazhassi Raja, When Bollywood can make films like Jodhaa Akbar, we can surely make Ponniyin Selvan. But I dont want this a modern version just like Raavan (I dont like this movie). I want the film just the way the novel is, set in ancient times. We dont get those kinda films in Kollywood now.
This movie apart from a great director, should have an excellent screenplay which cant be done by a single person and which should involve writers more than directors. We will miss Sujatha for sure because Sujatha has written epic novels. But authors like Balakumaran, directors like K Bhagyaraj(He is the best screenplay writer I can think of) can help. Dialogues should be written by of course Vaali and Vairamuthu. I dont want to assign music direction to only Ilaiyaraja. I wanted Ilaiyaraja, A R Rahman to work together to compose music for this film. Direction can be done my ManiRatnam. Also skilled directors like Shankar, Selvaraagavan can work with him. And the art direction is of course by Thotthatharani.
Lets come to the characters. The Chief character in the movie is Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan, whom I think is a great person but he is not uno-supremo character, He has his own weaknesses(falls for Nandhini’s smile) and his own strength(Loyalty and friendship). Surya can play the role. Arulmozhivarman, everyone wanted him to be the King, he never wanted to be one, loves everyone, demands respect and I think hi’s character could be well played by Vikram. There is this AdityaKarikalan, heir to the throne, but suffering from his inner demon. Ajith played well as Susima in the film Asoka. I think he can do justice to this role. But a dubbing artist should be used for him. Then we have Kandamaaran, Parthibendra pallavan, Madhuranthakar, which can be played by Jeyam Ravi, Karthi, Prithviraj and some others(No, Not Dhanush and Simbu/STR). Still we have three more important male lead characters: 1) Sundara Cholan: The character should have an aura around him, should demand respect, should be handsome(as the name goes) and should portray the anguish, a king undergoes in choosing the heir to his throne and fighting the mistakes he had made in his young age. No person’s name comes to my mind, except KamalHaasan. 2) Periya Pazhuvettaraiyar: When Kalki describes his physique and character in this novel, your lips will be saying “Wow! what a man?!”. He is like Villain in the novel, but again he saves the day at the end. Somehow I think, Rajinikanth can do justice to this character. Villain roles are like tailor made roles for him and he had played it just like he flicks that cigarette. 3) Aazhvaarkadiyan: After reading the novel, you will end up respecting Aazhvaarkadiyan as he is the most loyal citizen to the kingdom and works with utmost courage and sincerity. The character’s physique is like Tharumi’s character in the film Thiruvilayaadhal. But this character should be strong, courageous. We will surely miss our Tamil Cinema thespians at this moment because persons like Nagesh(Tharumi), Sivaji Ganesan(Naaradhar in Saraswathi Sabadam) can handle this character very easily. But again we dont have them, we can use some other ppl.
Now comes the female lead characters. Kundhavai: The most intelligent princess, Nothing happens in the kingdom without her knowledge. I feel really bad in saying that no actress in the current tamil cinema I can think of handling this character. When I read this novel, I had Simran in my mind. Then Nandhini, the most beautiful, seductive princess plotting against the whole Chola kingdom. She single handedly tries to destroy the kingdom and she almost succeeds in that. This character should be played by some one who is extremely beautiful, should be able to play femme fatale character at ease. (Pls dont think of Aishwarya.) Then comes Poonguzhali, Arrogant, Independent woman and then also we have Vaanadhi(loves RajaRajaChozhan) and Manimekalai(so charming, so innocent that she believes what others say). I really find it hard to pin point any of the current actresses to these characters, probably actresses in tamil cinema was never given an opportunity to play such strong characters. But actresses like Revathi, Suhasini, Rohini, Radha, Ambika could have played all these characters at ease. But again a good director can bring the best in actors. So we can cast Trisha, Shreya, Nayanthara and can try to bring the best out of them. Then we have SembianMaaDevi who seems so old and fragile but so intelligent that she plans everything ahead, also a silent mother who is unable to help her own child, can be aptly played by Lakshmi and Mandhagini Devi(her love for SundaraCholan and his children, her courage, her true spirit is truly admiring) can be played by “Am-sorry-I-don’t-know”.
Apart from all these characters we have Anirudha Brahmarayar, Sendhan Amudhan, Ravidhasan, Somban Sambhavan and many more characters which can be played by the character artists we have. This movie can also involve actors like Mammotthy, Mohan Lal, Sarath Kumar, Sivakumar, Arjun. For example, Sivakumar can handle the character of Anirudha Brahmarayar, Chief Minister to the King. Arjun can play brother to Periya Paruvettaraiyar who serves his brother and stands by him and is a true warrior and sword-fighter. For some of the characters listed above, I think they can also perform well.
And to do justice to all characters in the novel, The film should be made in two parts.
This is my fantasy film and I sincerely hope such films are made in tamil cinema. Sun pictures can make such movies, since they can provide immense budget, marketing strategies(though those strategies are nerve-breaking). This film will surely be a path breaking one in Indian Cinema. Since it showcases a vast Tamil culture and our richness, all people shall leave their ego and come together to work for such films. Sincerely hoping for such a film in my life time.
P.S.: I sincerely request everyone to read this novel, it is available in almost all the book stores.