'Ponniyin Selvan': All important characters from Part I, explained
Mani Ratnam's Ponniyin Selvan I hit the theaters on Friday amid much fanfare. The star-studded movie has been receiving an extremely positive response from fans and critics alike. If you are a non-reader of the novel that the film is based on, it might be a tad difficult for you to follow the characters. So, here's a list of important characters and their roles.
Arunmozhi Varman aka Ponniyin Selvan is the youngest son of King Sundara Chola. He is in Sri Lanka waging a battle against king Mahindra. The charming prince has a heart as pure as gold and would do anything to expand the kingdom. Members from Pandiya's camp are out to murder him, and we don't know yet if he made out alive of the battle.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan plays the main antagonist Nandini. She is from the enemy camp: Pandiyas, and wants to bring down the Chola kingdom. She seduces a much older but very influential person from the Chola kingdom: Periya Pazhuvettarayar (played by Sarathkumar) with her mesmerizing beauty and marries him. She is also the former lover of the crown prince Aditya Karikalan.
Trisha plays the Chola princess Kundavai. She is also the younger sister of Karikalan and the elder sister of Ponniyin Selvan. She is one of the very few people in the whole kingdom who are immune to the mesmerizing beauty of Nandini and knows what she is truly capable of. Using her cleverness and influence, Kundavai saves the whole Chola kingdom from crashing down.
The crown prince Aditya Karikalan is head over heels in love with Nandini since he was a child. It doesn't change even after her marriage to a different person. His agonizing past haunts him and winning wars and planting the Chola flag in different regions is his only distraction. He stays in Kanchi, where he has built a golden palace for his parents.
Vanthiyathevan is a prince of a long-lost kingdom, who is now serving the Cholas. After winning a war along with Karikalan, he goes on a mission to know who is conspiring against the Cholas. He later meets Sundara Chola and Kundavai to deliver Karikalan's messages. He eventually meets Ponniyin Selvan and ends up being the connecting point of all members of the family.