Do You Know Ponniyin Selvan Has Its Own Tours, And Its Jewellery Is Up For Sale? Find Out More…

Wait till you see a bride in the next wedding reception with the Kundavai high hairdo. Or wearing the jewellery that you had seen on screen.

Ponniyin Selvan conversations always start and end with “Is the movie a Hit or a Flop?” Left me wondering what makes a film a super hit or a blockbuster hit? Is it the box office collection? Is it 6 or 7 shows a day starting from 7am running full? Music and songs that goes viral? Punchline dialog being used in everyday lingo?

As I write this, Ponniyin Selvan Part 1 has joined the 400-crore global grossers, set to overtake Bahubali and Vikram. And in Tamil Nādu and in the other southern states the movie seems to be running full houses or almost full houses. As far as music goes, it is an AR Rahman musical – so may not hit you in the first watch but it is an acquired taste!

I came up with a few criteria that you and I can use to decide – hit or miss? PS1 is sure ticking the boxes on more than one! But you be the judge of it yourself!

For one, what is a hit film if it does not have official merchandise with its name?

“Cholas are coming” – Announces a T-Shirt in big bold letters on Fully Filmy. A crop-top for women teases “Nandini vs Kundavai”.  Official Ponniyin Selvan posters of Vikram and Jayam Ravi in ferocious poses are on sale along with the Sword and Shield badges and coffee mugs.

Chola Kingdom in a poster for your wall while Angst of Arunmozhi and Hope of Vandhiyathevan, Karikalan’s Invasion – call out the phone covers!  What’s more – there’s a Ponniyin Selvan card game too. You need not have read the book to play this strategy game, the product description says.

You love it or hate it but can’t stop talking about it

Contrary to the popular adage on books and movies – Don’t judge the movie Ponniyin Selvan with the book in mind. The book is a classic and larger than life! Ponniyin selvan opened up with mixed reviews divided further by those who have read the book and those that have not. But one cannot dispute the fact that it has created a buzz.

Thanks to English subtitles, non-Tamil movie audience are thronging the theatre to watch this “Aishwarya Rai” movie – forgive their pronunciation of Vandhiyathevan! And Tamil guys and gals are taking their army of friends to the theatre. I know they were sitting behind me and throughout the movie the Tamil guy was giving running commentary (Bro, he is Actor Surya’s brother!).

Not just that, it opened up a barrage of memes! That’s added marks for being a hit film! There was one in Malayalam that ends with a PS1 crash course for the characters! I am sure there will be a waiting list for that master class!

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It has its own tours; can you beat that?

Every book worth its salt should have a book tour. Game of thrones Dubrovnik tour, Lord of the Rings London Trail to name a few. Even the Da Vinci Code has a walking tour in Paris!

Many offbeat travel companies have been running Ponniyin Selvan tours even before the movie started shooting. But they are now a sell-out and have enthusiasts joining from all over India. TourBee has been running Ponniyin Selvan tours since 2015 and Heritage inspired have been running what they call “The Spy’s Trail” from 2017!  Courtyard Tours include appreciation of food of the times, textile and temple exploration along with archaeology and the historical narratives. The Kalki group themselves have a tour organized so does the prestigious magazine Ananda Vikatan.

The tours traces the path Vandhiya thevan takes covering Veeranam lake, Tanjore, Kadambur, Kumbakonam , Chidambaram, Kollidam river, Kumbakonam, Thiruchirapalli , Pazhayarai , Nagapattinam and beyond. I am keen to join one of them very soon, but the tricky part is some of them conduct a quiz as part of the fun activities!

Hit film should have a saree in its name!

Some saree houses are taking pre-orders for a grand 3D rich woven saree that has all the lead characters faces woven in the pallu with sword and shield in the body. What’s more, they have 5 colors to choose from too!  While the costume designer of the film has gone through intensive research to drape each character, you can drape yourself in the Ponniyin Selven grandeur with this saree.

You can buy PS1 Jewellery this Diwali

A period film triggers interest in the costume and accessories sported by the characters, from Mughal-E-Azam to Umrao Jaan; from Padmavat to Bahubali.

The Hyderabad based jewellers and their designer Pratiksha Prashant are the brains behind the stunning jewellery Nandini, Kundavai and the other men and women wear in the movie. You can now buy a Ponniyin Selvan piece of jewellery for this Diwali – the jewellers will be putting up 450 pieces of the jewellery created for the movie for sale!

You can gift yourself or to the significant other the signet ring with palm leaf motif that Nandini hands out Vandhiyathevan! Or buy yourself the vanki or kasumalai or waistbands! While the jewellery of the women was predictably temple jewellery, the ornaments of Jayam Ravi and Aditha Karikalan were more fascinating.

If emeralds and rubies are not your thing, head to in for the more affordable official merchandise (mentioned above) including Chola Tiger pendant, rings and bracelets engraved with the tiger motif. When the jewellery begins to appear on better known portals, you can bet the movie is a Pan India hit.

Recipe for a hit film? Here it is!

Native Special has launched a Deepavali special combo – Raja Raja Cholan combo as a tribute to the great king. Contains Ellurundai and Athirasam in the mix; they could have added traditional Tamil delicacies like Kummayam too !

And the movie is a house-hold name

This Navaratri many households in Chennai brought home Ponniyin Selvan kolu sets. All the characters parading in your living room in their finery for the doll arrangement. It might be late in arrival to Malleswaram in Bangalore, but it sure has made the entry in Mylapore already!

And the number of non-Tamil speaking people who are talking of reading the books in an English translation! May their tribe increase.

Hair cut/ hair style of Ponniyin Selvan characters

Still not convinced that Ponniyin Selvan is a super hit? The final word for a superhit movie is that you ask for a haircut of the hero or get a hairstyle of the heroine.

Remember how many times your brother has asked for a Rajnikanth cut or an Aamir Khan/Ghajni movie cut? And how about the Nadhiya kondai from the 80’s (from the Tamil film Poove Poochoodava) or Sadhana cut from 70’s?

Wait till you see a bride in the next wedding reception with the Kundavai high hairdo. Or your wife coming out with the Nandini style side bun. You might get a Raja Rajan haircut too by your trusted barber one of these Sundays. You will then agree that Ponniyin Selvan has arrived !

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About the Author

Parvathi Viswanathan

Parvathi Viswanathan is a seasoned business leader with more than 25 years of impactful presence in the Indian IT industry. She has had significant stints as Vice President leading Financial Services Market Units at Capgemini read more...

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