Poonguzhali to Oomai Rani: 'Ponniyin Selvan' characters who deserve spinoffs
Tamil magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan I hit the theaters on September 30. The onscreen adaptation of Tamil author Kalki's novel of the same name was helmed by Mani Ratnam. While its sequel is set to be released in 2023, there are characters that we would like to be explored in detail, and here are five of them. Spoilers lie ahead.
Poonguzhali aka Samudhira Kumari was played by Aishwarya Lekshmi in the film. While she makes a brief appearance in the first part, it is expected that her role will be meatier in the sequel. From her immense love for the ocean and her relationship with Arunmozhi Varman to her ambition to sit on the throne, there is a lot more to her character.
Mandakini Devi aka Oomai Rani is one of the characters played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the film. The first part only showed her in glimpses and her face was revealed in the last shot. The savior of Raja Raja Chola, she has a very intimate relationship with King Sundara Chola. Her character closely follows Ponniyin Selvan and saves him from life-threatening situations.
In the novel, Sendhan Amudan's character is a significant one. The adherent devotee of Lord Shiva has only one desire in his life- to marry Poonguzhali. A series of unexpected events happen in the life of the humble man and he ends up sitting on the throne, with Poonguzhali as his queen. The role is played by Ashwin Kakumanu in the film.
Periya Pazhuvettaraiyar is played by Sarathkumar. The bold warrior, who has 63 wounds on his body after fighting in various battles with the Chola kings, loses his mind after being mesmerized by the beauty of Nandini (Rai Bachchan). How he comes back to his senses and how he overcomes the plots to be murdered are too intense to not have a spinoff.
Though Rai Bachchan's Nandini is one of the main characters, there is still more to her character. What we see in the first film is only her proceedings with the other main characters: Aditya Karikalan, Kundavai, and Vanthiyathevan. There was a brief flashback portion, but it did not show the struggles she faced. A spinoff for her would do justice to the character.