Mani Ratnam epic ‘Ponniyin Selvan’: A large crowd gathered on all levels of a Chennai mall to watch the performance, which was sung by A.R. Rahman and features stunning visuals, in the presence of some stars from the historical action drama, including Karthi, Jayam Ravi, and Jayaram.
On Sunday evening, “Ponni Nadhi,” the upbeat lead track from maestro Mani Ratnam’s much-anticipated magnum opus “Ponniyin Selvan,” was released here amid considerable anticipation.
A large crowd gathered on all levels of a Chennai mall to watch the performance, which was sung by A.R. Rahman and features stunning visuals, in the presence of some stars from the historical action drama, including Karthi, Jayam Ravi, and Jayaram.
The song’s lyrics, written by Ilango Krishnan, recount the journey taken by Karthi’s portrayal of the Chola Chief Vallavaraiyan Vandiyadevan as he rides through the kingdom with a crucial message.
The song serves as a reminder to the messenger of the mission at hand and the urgency with which it must be finished, even as it praises the beauty of the river, the harvests, the women of the kingdom, and the bravery of the people of the nation. He should visit the Ponni river before the sun sets, according to the lines.
Ponniyin Selvan is widely considered by many to be the most excellent novel ever written in Tamil literature.  It was first released in the 1950s as a series in the Tamil-language magazine Kalki before being turned into a book. The series, released weekly, was so popular that it increased the magazine’s circulation to an astounding 71,366 copies, which was an impressive feat in a newly independent India.
People from all generations still have a cult following and fan base for the book today. The book continues to be admired and garners critical acclaim for its tightly woven plot, vivid narration, the wit of the dialogue, and how the power struggle and intrigues of the Chola empire were depicted.
Yesterday, July 31, the first song from the movie, Ponni Nadhi, was made available on YouTube. The music is available in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam, and other languages. The pieces in the other three languages, except for Kannada and Malayalam, have primarily been performed by Rahman (along with two others).
The song, which features Karthi as the Chola monarch Vallavaraiyan Vanthiyathevan, sings about the beauty of the Ponni-named river Cauvery, the harvests, the beautiful Chola women, and the region’s bravery. The lines exude an old-world charm from Chola’s days.
And a powerful voice is required to convey such hefty and bravura words. Rahman’s raspy but “slim” tone has been judged unsatisfactory in this area. The rhythms and melody of the song have generally been well-liked by the audience. The multiple Grammy and Oscar winner’s singing styles, better suited to a current lilt, have drawn criticism from some of the listeners on social media. One fan said, “His voice doesn’t have the gravitas for a historical.”