There is a clear rising tide of anticipation surrounding the Mani Ratnam campaign. Ponniyin Selvan. The Tamil film, set in the historical epic of Tamil writer Kalki Krishnamoorthy, is set to hit theaters on September 30th. RRR, KGF 2 and Vikram before there’s a constant buzz around Ponniyin Selvan too, as this too is built as a pan-Indian version.
Mani Ratnam, of course, is a pan-Indian director, having made films in both Tamil and Hindi. Ponniyin Selvan also stars Aishwarya rai Bachchan, and lends itself even more easily to pan-Indian marketing.
The Tamil film, which will also be released in Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada, stars, among others, Vikram, Karthi, Jeyam Ravi, Jeyaram, Vikram Prabhu, Trisha and Aishwarya Lakshmi.
The music is, inevitably, AR Rahman — it’s been exactly 30 years since the duo began working together in memorable and magical ways on red in 1992.
red is considered a landmark in Tamil and Indian film music. It was later listed in Time World’s Magazine’s ’10 Best Soundtracks’ of All Time.
‘Rahman’s voice doesn’t have the gravity of a history’
In total, including Ponniyin Selvan, Mani and Rahman worked together on 17 films. Rahman has won three of his six National Awards from his association with Mani Ratnam. the duo Bombay is the best-selling Indian music album of all time with unprecedented sales of 12 million records, according to Wikipedia. Considering all this, the songs of Ponniyin Selvan are being eagerly awaited by fans of Indian music and movies all over the world.
The first single from the film, Ponni Nadhi, was released yesterday (July 31) on YouTube. The song was released in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam and Kannada. Except for Kannada and Malayalam, those in the other three languages were sung primarily by Rahman himself (along with two others).
The song, filmed in Karthi, played by Chola King Vallavaraiyan Vanthiyathevan, describes the beauty of the Cauvery River (ancient name is Ponni), the crops, the graceful women of the Chola kingdom and the valor of the people of the region. The lines exude the historical flavor of the Chola times.
And to carry such heavy and brave words, it takes a heavy voice. And this is where Rahman’s high-pitched but ‘thin’ tone was found to be lacking. The song’s melody and rhythms were widely received by fans. But the multi-Oscar and Grammy winner’s singing style, suited to the more modern cadence, was criticized by a section of listeners on social media platforms. His voice lacks the gravity of a historic one fan suggested.
Incidentally, the Malayalam version sung by Alphons Joseph and the Kannada version performed by Nakul Abhyankar seem heavier and more lyrically appropriate.
The film has a few more songs, which should be released, as is the norm these days, in a staggered fashion until the film’s release.
Ponniyin Selvan It will be a two-part history. The first part is the one that will be released on the last day of this September.