Ponniyin Selvan: Part I

Ponniyin Selvan: Part I ★★★★★

Very late style, that means late style is probably reaching a no style era for Mani, much has been said about Vikram and Mani doing 5 minute Raavanan in the middle of this that fires back past only to cover it with blood again, then the stare offs, its kinda the anti Ok kanmani in the sense which was a film that hungs on pure minimal gestures and hinges very intimately and doesn't care on the outside emotional world, this here emotions escape minds and screen only causing blood and war, gestures both minimal and max ones.
Its heart tbh lies in Mohicans and late style swashbucklers that Donner and Fleischer, Lean may have done in 60s to 80s, its very emotionally distant as in the style of past 3 or 4 Manis so when an emotional point explodes it really explodes like the above scenes- something true since post kadal, cgi sucks but its more intriguing when it does convos which Mani sure finds interesting, very handheld in that Michael Mann way, the characters are stripped to bones, Ravi varman and Mani adheres to frantic camera but some very gorgeous informally balanced compositions, happy to see Thotta Tharani as important as Rahman, Mani and Varman in creating a lived in world that's quite anti Sabu cyril Baahubali plasticity, buildings sure doesn't feel like Ramoji POP- because real locations and there is intense thanks for making a period passion project from a veteran team that doesnt make your eardrums explode.
Saw the good Malayalam dub, will watch soon in Chenthamizh as king intended which will make me appreciate this more in OTT.

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