Mani Ratnam's ambitious period drama Ponniyin Selvan 1 (PS:1) is set to open in cinemas on September 30. The star cast of the film along with the filmmaker and the music maestro AR Rahman attended a press conference in Mumbai on September 24. Speaking at the event, the director spoke about adapting the film from Kalki Krishnamurthy's 1955 novel Ponniyin Selvan and called it a difficult process.
Kalki's novel is in 5 volumes. So when asked about how easy or difficult it was to pick the important episodes from the book and present the story in 2 films, Mani Ratnam told FilmiBeat that, "It was difficult, but I am paid to do that (smiles). That's my job to be able to extract two films out of this. The book is really extensive and it has got so many characters, so many details, there is so much history written in it and a lot of research went into the book. It was like a platter for me, so we could put it together in a cogent way. And because we are doing a 5-part-book of nearly 2000 pages, into 2 films, there were some parts that had to be crunched, had to be brought together and told in a cogent fashion that people will be able to follow. So, this was a task which I really enjoyed."
PS:1 is Mani Ratnam's dream project. He tried to adapt the novel in the mid-1990s and early-2010s but had to be shelved due to issues with the potential budget for the film. In 2019, however, Mani Ratnam officially restarted the production.
Magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan is headlined by Chiyaan Vikram, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Trisha, Sobhita Dhulipala, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Lal, and Jayaram among others. Its soundtrack has been composed by AR Rahman.