Mani Ratnam’s magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan Part 1 was last year released with positive reviews and good box office collections. The movie, based on Kalki Krishnamurthy’s novel of the same name, was split into two parts with the first part having a cliffhanger ending. Ponniyin Selvan 2 was released on April 28, nearly a year later. However, it looks like the movie has not been able to match the hype in some places as theatres were empty.
Specials are usually screened early in the morning, but Ponniyin Selvan 2 was screened at 9 am as the government did not grant permission to screen specials. A few theatres screened the film at 11 am.
As the film was released in theatres in Trichy, the theatres were deserted due to a lack of interest among the fans. Tamil actors are known to be heavily celebrated with their films released to great fanfare, cheers and decorations at the theatre. But nothing of that sort happened for Ponniyin Selvan 2. This is unusual for a film starring big names like Chiyaan Vikram, Karthi and Jayam Ravi.
Some are speculating that the low enthusiasm towards the release of the film is a result of the movie getting leaked online. There were reports of an HD print of Ponniyin Selvan 2 being available for download from nearly 7 illegal websites.
On April 27, the film’s producers released a formal statement asking the public to support their fight against piracy by seeing the movie in a theatre. A link was also distributed by the film’s creators, inviting the audience to file a formal complaint if the movie’s content was being pirated.
It remains to be seen how well the movie does at the box office despite it being leaked online.