The Audio and Trailer launch of the film happened in a grand manner yesterday at Nehru Indoor Stadium. All the cast members including Aishwarya Rai and Vikram made an appearance at the event yesterday. Actors Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan graced the event with their presence and launched the trailer live. Several other stars including Directors Shankar and Gautam Vasudev Menon, and Music composers Yuvan Shankar Raaja and Santosh Narayanan were also present.
Actors Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan went on stage to launch the trailer. On stage, Rajini openly spoke about a lot of things and also reminisced about late CM Jayalalithaa. He said, “Everybody kept asking me if I have read Ponniyin Selvan. But, as the novel is extremely long, I did not take the effort. However, back then, an interview of late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was published on the Kumudham weekly. In that she was asked her choice of casting for the Vandhiyathevan character, if the book was made a film. Jayalalithaa had suggested my name for that role. I got the interest to read the novel only after reading her interview.”
Rajinikanth also revealed that he wanted to be part of the stellar cast of ‘Ponniyin Selvan’, but Mani Ratnam denied to offer the role in fear of the audience response. “When Mani Ratnam announced in 2019 that he has started the work for the film, I called and asked him to let me play the role of Periya Pazhuvettiyar. He out rightly said no and asked me if I wanted my fans to scold him. He also added that this is not the role of a superstar like you as the screen presence is very less. I still wanted to do it. He then convinced me that I have better movies to do and it was not required for me to do a small role even as special appearance. This is what you call an excellent director. If it was anyone else, they would have agreed to my request. That’s the reason he is Mani Ratnam.”
He also added that he had imagined the characters from the book to the actors. He said, “I wanted to play Arunmozhi Varman. So I imagined the other characters with the stars of that time. Thought of Kamal Haasan doing Vanthiyadevan, Sri Devi as Kundavai and Hema Malini as Nandini and Sathyaraj playing the role of Periya Pazhuvettiyar. I and Kamal did not get the chance to act for ‘Ponniyin Selvan’. Now, can see Vikram, Jayam Ravi, Karthi, Aishwarya Rai and Trisha doing these roles and I am very happy.”
Kamal Haasan also shared a few words on stage. “MGR wished to make Ponniyin Selvan as a film. After that, we also tried to make the novel a film. However, we did not succeed. But today, Mani Ratnam has fulfilled that dream,” he said.
The film is to be released in 2 parts, and the first part is releasing on September 30th. The final work of the film is currently going on, and the director has reportedly made a final copy of the film. The runtime of the film is apparently 2 hours and 50 minutes or 170 minutes, which is less than several large-scale movies. Probably, Mani Ratnam went for a short and sweet first half, in order to hook the audience with a longer and more detailed second part.