Jan 21, 2011

The Return of the King

             It's been a thousand years since he walked on this earth - a young prince who loved and lost ;a brave warrior who tasted victories and defeats alike;a just ruler whose epaulets were aplenty as much as in people's hearts as on his shoulders. It took the genius of a pen to resurrect this epic hero, in all his glory and splendor. He has inspired generations of readers,young and old alike, to travel back to that ageless time of our past, full of valor, intrigue and justice. But unfortunately, he  spoke the tongue of the few and was not heard much beyond his boundaries ....
            Well, this is the closest to the "poetical" that you can catch me out on. For those of you who are wondering what it's all about, here's a wonderful piece of news. “Ponniyin Selvan” finally comes alive in silver screen with Mani Ratnam at its helm.This news has renewed a  good deal of interest in the novel, which augurs well for the book as well as the world of Tamil literature.
           For a little background , "Ponniyin Selvan" is a Tamil historical novel by Kalki written in 5 parts. It's set in the late "Chozha" Period and gives an insight into Raja Raja Chozha's early history.A fine thread of historical events interwoven by an intricate plot, a strong characterization,a dash of adventure held together by a beautiful language,makes this a most delightful read.I've always felt deeply for my friends who lost out on this book because of the language barrier and a barrier for reading in general.(an English translation does exist, but I heard that it’s not close to the original though it stays true to the plot). Hopefully, with the making of this movie,the barriers shall break down.
          The filming of this novel poses quite a number of challenges in terms of screen play, casting ,historical sets, dialogues etc.(It’s as tough as directing LOTR , but only twice as harder). Let’s leave it to an expert like Mani to deal with the interesting hurdles and sit back to see how much of the original magic he can re-create.
Far is not the day when the King shall return and rule :)


Kannan said...

Very nice. It is a while since we have seen a true historical movie. Hope it is not like Raavanan. And hope that the sets are brightly lit!!
And hope that the effort rises above the cacophony of the erudite who will unfairly complain that the movie is not as good or true to the novel in the same vein as saying "My father is old". Well whose isn't?

Karthik said...

I loved your opening lines!! Very well written!:-) Unfortunately, I'm very slow at reading Tamil, and haven't read Ponniyin Selvan though I've heard much about it ! Will catch the movie !

Srishti said...

@ Kannan: Hope it's a good adaptation of the book. This trend of adaption is yet to mature in Tamil Cinema. Let's see how this goes:)

@ Karthik : I hope you get to enjoy the movie in a year or two. Now coming to think of it, won't it be a good idea for an audio narration of the novel for people who can understand Tamil? :)

Karthik said...

Oh ya, audio narration would be cool! In not-so-literary Tamil would be ideal:-) But, I think its unlikely such a version will ever be released:-)

Neeraja said...

Your post was so beautiful and vividly reminded me of your recommendations from years back that I started reading the English translation :). I know, I still will miss a lot, but even an audio-translation would be hard for me to follow... a shame!!

Srishti said...

@ Karthik : Sadly , you speak the truth about the audio narration. Such a trend has not yet started in Tamil.
@ Neeru : Your post is a fitting reply to this. I am glad you have started reading the book.

Sometimes, literary Tamil is easier on the ears than on the eyes :) I have read a couple of chapters aloud for my friend whose Tamil is not so good and she could understand most of it. (Her native language being Malayalam). The language is intricate in metaphors and similes but is not complex in terms of construction.