It is rare that movies are made based on historic novels. For it needs not just huge labour but enough resources. However, Thiyagarajan has brought on screen what is one of popular novels in Tamil – Ponnar Sankar, penned by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.
It is a valorous tale about twin brothers, who fought for their motherland. Produced and directed by Thiyagarajan, the movie features Prashanth playing both the characters- Ponnar and Sankar.
A period film demands huge ensemble of star cast, lavish sets and immense research. Taking the game on, Prashanth and Thiyagarajan have managed to come out with a movie that is more a desi version of �Brave Heart�.
With story, screenplay and dialogues by Karunanidhi, Thiyagarajan has given them good shape on screen. Thankfully with seasoned artistes in his side, he has passed out in flying colours. Karunanidhi’s dialogues are colloquial and touch relevant contemporary political and social issues. There he scores a point.
The movie begins with the wedding of Thamarai (Kushboo), the daughter of King Periyamalaikozhundhu Gounder (Vijayakumar) arranged with Mandhiyappan (Prakashraj), a king of neighbouring country. Enters Nellaiyankondan (Jayaram), Thamarai’s lover and he walks away with her.
Her parents disown her and drive her out of their kingdom.While leaving she throws a challenge at her brother Chinna Malaikozhundhu (Ponvannan) that he would come to their doors one day seeking to marry her two sons for his two daughters.
As years go by, Mayavar (Nasser), a chieftain in the village, comes across twin brothers Ponnar and Sankar (both Prashanth), who are students of Rakki (Raj Kiran). Good at heart, Ponnar and Sankar are valorous and they voice for the sufferings of poor.
One day, they save the sisters Muthayi (Pooja Chopra) and Pavalayi (Dhivya Parameshwaran) from death. Both happen to be daughters of Chinna Malaikozhundhu.
Impressed with their valour, their parents agree for their marriage with Ponnar and Sankar. A flashback reveals that Ponnar and Sankar are Thamarai’s sons and Rakki had taken them with him to save them from Mandhiyappan when they were born.
Coming to know that Ponnar and Sankar are alive, Mandhiappan hatches a conspiracy and ensures that Kali Mannan (Nepolean) and Thamarai’s father help him in killing them.
Eventually a war is fought. The intense battle ensures that good prevails over evil. Watch out there are the likes of Prabhu, Sneha, Lakshmi Ramakrishnan and Seetha among others in the cast.
Seemingly inspired by �Apocalypto� and �Brave Hearet�, Thiyagarajan has ensured battle scenes are shot grand and great. The graphics, supervised by Prashanth himself, is highlight of the movie, though at places look amateurish.
Prashanth, who makes his comeback, has done it doubly well. As a proud prince, he pours out right emotions. In romance and battle scenes, he leaves his mark. His previous experience stands him in good stead.
Kushboo is the pivot around whom the movie revolves. She is good at it. So are the likes of seasoned artistes Nasser, Prabhu, Nepolean, Sneha and Rajkiran among others who chip in with their best.
Unfortunately Ilayaraja disappoints with his music. The songs fail to enter our ears. But he compensates with his brisk background score. Cheers to art director T Muthuraj. He has created huge palace, fort, battle field before our eyes. Shaji Kumar captures them well on his lens.
On the flip side, the movie has many dragging moments. Too many characters come and go without leaving a mark. The first half proceeds at quick pace, but the latter part of �Ponnar Sankar� stutters and staggers.