Dear Mr. Manirathnam,
I have all the respects for you, for having revolutionised Tamil Cinema. I have seen almost all your films, except Raavanan. In the history of Tamil Cinema, Your name will be for ever, and it cannot be ignored.
Of course, Now a days I do not see many films, particularly in Tamil, because of their standard. If I start writing on that subject, it will be carried away somewhere else, and so I close that subject, with a simple word "I do not see many Tamil films". I will not be able to forget your Roja, Bombay, Naayagan, Agni Natchathiram, even Iruvar.
I started reading Tamil novels at the age of eight. And I have not missed any of the Kalki Novels. I am aged 70, and even today. If I see his books, I will not be able to keep his books in the shelf again without reading at least one chapter of the book.
"Ponniyin Selvan" was read by me so many times, and more or less i can quote many paragraphs by heart. When It was concluded as a serial in "kalki" I was one among many Tamilians who felt as though We lost one of our closest relatives. It took many years for us to recover the missing characters Vandhiyathevan, Kundhavai, Arulmozhi, aazhvaarkadiyaan, Nandhini etc. As we do not forget our grandparents, or parents who passed away, we never forgot them and continued to have their company by keeping the five parts of PONNIYIN SELVAN in our shelf and taking out those books as often as possible.
I do not think, that there will be any house which has a library, in Tamilnadu, or any Tamilians house in all over the world without this book. It has even attracted many generation which followed, and one of the hot sales in the Book exhibitions even now.
I am least bothered about what is happening around me, either dirty politics, corruption, theft, murder, rape, indiscipline etc., just because, I know as an individual I cannot do anything to eradicate them. Even though, what is happening in our state, society, country does hurt me, and affects me, I ignore them and remove them from my thoughts and start thinking positively and be happy and do the best possible things to those who are around me.
But, the news, that you are going to produce "Ponniyin selvan" as a tamil movie continues to disturb me and haunt my mind, even though I try to forget it. It is not that, that I have any doubt in your capacity to produce such a marvelous historical movie which can make every Tamilian proud.
Have you read the novel, with Mr. Manian's drawings Mr. Mani rathnam? Perhaps your mother or father might have collected the pages from Kalki and made that as a bound book in your house. If so, please read it, or collect from some body and read it.
In my younger days, I used to sit with my mother, and sisters and brother and other relatives, and used to discuss the possibility of Ponniyin selvan being produced as film. At that time, we used to finalise, Sivaji for Vandhiyathevan, MGR for Arulmozhi, Padmini for Kundhavai, Baliah for Aazhvaarkadiyaan and break the head for nandini either with K.R. Vijaya or Dhevika.
Do you think any of the actors, you have proposed to field in the movie, (Vijay, Vishal, and a telugu actor etc. I have nothing against any of them personally) can fit in to any of the characters of this epic? I can't imagine a short man like Vijay to fit into any character of this novel, leave aside he will be hero (VANDHIYATHEVAN?) and his acting talents. Do you think the present day actors, can read the book and understand the characters , and work hard to bring them in the screen what Kalki and Manian created and characterised? None of the present actors in today's tamil cine field have dedication and sincerity like Hollywood actors who portrayed many epic characters and they can never justify the great characters in our mind.
Please Mr.Manirathnam ! You have done Mahabharathm, Raamaayanam etc. Rightly, converting the characters in a social theme. If you want, you produce Ponniyin Selvan also. But, please take it and do another Thalapathi, or Raavanan. PLEASE SPARE US AND ALLOW US TO DIE WITH THE SWEET MEMORIES OF ARULMOZHI, VANDHIYATHEVAN , Kundhavai and nandhini as they are today in our mind and thoughts. God's sake please do not venture to produce the original "Ponniyin Selvan" with the present actors in Tamil films and hurt many, particularly those who are above fifty and take their curses. It may not do good for you. ( None of us will see it another issue.)
If you still go ahead, there is no other way for many like me to pray to God to take us away from this world before this movie is being released.
With great admiration for your talent and simultaneously having doubts about your "Vinaasa kaale vibareedha budhdhi"
P.S. Dear Readers,
Do not get annoyed and ask me , "when there are burning problems in the country and society, is this an important issue?" The existing burning problems, even though they annoy me, do not hurt me much and I am helpless. But to see Vijay as Vandhiyathevan or Arulmozhi can give me a heart attack, which you may not like.
Story Teller said...
Sir, i'm one of those silent readers of your blog, who never commented on your posts, but now I want to. At the age of 33 now, I just completed reading all chapters of "Ponniyin selvan" and I fully agree that none of the present actors can do justice to the roles. I appreciate your thoughts and stand by it. I read Mani is taking help of Jeyamohan to pen the dialogues & screenplay, we would only pray god it comes out good as people who haven't read the novel can be benefited by atleast a small margin.