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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Ponniyin Selvan: Aishwarya Rai plays antagonist, Prakash Raj replaces Amitabh Bachchan in Mani Ratnam movie

Details of casting in Mani Ratnam's Ponniyin Selvan have been revealed, with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan reportedly playing the role of antagonist. The film will release in two parts.

By: Entertainment Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: August 5, 2021 8:26:44 am
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan plays an important role in Mani Ratnam's Ponniyin Selvan. (Photo: Instagram/Aishwarya Rai Bachchan)

Director Mani Ratnam’s magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan has a sprawling star cast, comprising several superstars from across the country. It is one of the reasons why the fantasy costume drama has already caught the imagination of movie buffs. However, Mani Ratnam and his team are keeping a tight lid on the production and preventing any information leaks, adding to the growing curiosity of the fans.

A list revealing the character details of all actors, however, has surfaced online. According to the leaked list, Mani Ratnam had approached Amitabh Bachchan to play a role called Sundara Chozhar. However, the role eventually went to actor Prakash Raj.

The list also reveals that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will be seen in the role of Nandhini/ Mandhankini. And surprisingly, she has been identified as an antagonist on the list. Vikram is Aditya Karikalan, Jayaram Ravi is Arulmozhi Varman, Karthi is Vandhiuathevan, Trisha is Kundhavi, Asihwariya Lekshmi is Poonguzhali, Sobhita is Vaanathi, Sarath Kumar is Periya Paluvetarayar, Parthiban is Chinna Paluvetarayar, Lal is Malayamaan, Jayaram is Azhwarkadiyan Nambi, Prabhu is Anirudha Bhramarayar. Kishore as Ravidhasan, and Riyaz Khan as Soman Sambavan seem to also play the roles of antagonists.

The five-volume novel, Ponniyin Selvan, narrates the story of Arulmozhi Varman, who eventually became Rajaraja Chola I. The king built the beautiful Brihadisvara Temple in Thanjavur, one of the largest temples in India. It is said that a major part of the film’s budget is being used to recreate majestic temples built during the period as film shootings are not allowed inside historically relevant temples in Tamil Nadu. Award-winning art designer Thota Tharani has taken up that challenge. Oscar-winner AR Rahman is taking care of the film’s score, and Ravi Varman is handling the camera.

Mani Ratnam is shooting the film in Puducherry. If everything goes as per plan, he is expected to complete the production by August this year.

Ponniyin Selvan will be released in two parts and the first part is set to hit the screens next year.

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