'Ponniyin Selvan 1' advance booking sales cross ₹1 crore on first day
Tickets to Mani Ratnam’s most-anticipated period film, ‘Ponniyin Selvan-1’, sold rapidly when advance booking opened on September 25. Most shows in the USA and in India, are already booked with four days left for its release
According to film industry trackers, the Tamil and Telugu versions of Mani Ratnam’s dream project, have crossed ₹1 crore sales in advance booking in a few hours itself on Sunday.
Media reports said that the film, at least the Tamil version, is expected to have a massive opening weekend. Industry tracker Sacnilk too said Ponniyin Selvan 1 had sold 78,000 tickets by Sunday noon, grossing ₹1.46 crore. Of this, ₹1.37 crore was mopped up from the Tamil version alone, and around ₹9 lakh from the Telugu-dubbed version.
The film may even breach the ₹10-crore mark before its release in theatres on Friday, September 30, felt industry experts from the initial reactions to the film.
On Sunday, trade analyst Ramesh Bala too tweeted that the film has already sold tickets worth $400,000 (over ₹3.25 crore) in the United States alone, and is showing strong advance booking trends in Singapore as well.
Ponniyin Selvan, which stars Vikram, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Aishwarya Rai, and Trisha Krishnan, is being released in five languages, which include Hindi, Kannada, and Malayalam as well. However, the advance booking for the film in these languages is set to open most likely by Wednesday.
Industry experts said the excitement for the Hindi version is subdued and the biggest chunk of business for the film is expected from down south, mainly Tamil Nadu. Ratnam revealed at a media conference in Mumbai that Ajay Devgn lent his voice for the Hindi version of Ponniyin Selvan 1 as a narrator of the film.
The period drama based on a historical fiction novel by Kalki Krishnamurthy, is written in Tamil, which tells the story of the early days of Arulmozhivarman, who later became the great Chola emperor Rajaraja Chola I.
The film’s synopsis runs thus: Vandiyathevan, a brave and brilliant young man sets out to cross the Chola land to deliver a message from the Crown Prince Adithya Karikalan. The narrative deals with attempts by his sister Kundavai to bring back Arulmozhivarman to establish political peace in a land seemingly beset with unrest and civil war plotted by vassals and petty chieftains.
Politics, psychology of PS-1 still relevant
On being asked how relevant is a film based on history in today’s time, the legendary director, who gave some of Indian cinema’s most memorable hits, said, “You learn everything from history. I think everything comes from the past when the future comes. Especially this novel and this film, after thousand years, it will still be relevant; the politics of it is still relevant, the psychology of it is still relevant and therefore I think it is as contemporary as it can get. ”
Further, Ratnam said the book is a historical fiction. But a lot of the characters are real, who existed and are recorded in history. “There are some characters that Kalki had written which are fictional and I think the way he had blended the two is fascinating and that is what we have tried to capture in the movie,” added Ratnam.
On his earlier attempts to to make Ponniyin Selvan more than three decades ago, he said, that M G Ramachandran (former chief minister) wanted to make it. And, he had thought of making it after his film Nayakan (1987) with Kamal Haasan.
Both of them wanted to make this film. Kamal was to be the hero and they were working on the script but it did not materialise because the subject was too huge. “We couldn’t put the whole story into a single film. Also, we couldn’t afford it,” he told the media.
The big budget drama Ponniyin Selvan is produced by Ratnam and Allirajah Subaskaran under Madras Talkies and Lyca Productions and has the music by AR Rahman. The film also starring Jayam Ravi, Karthi, Trisha Krishnan, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Sobhita.
The visuals, the grand locations, the battle scenes in the movie stand out in the recently released trailer.