The grand scale on which the upcoming Ponniyin Selvan has been made and promoted has created immense interest for the film. As we inch closer to the September 30 release date, many interesting anecdotes about the film have been coming to the fore. One of the most interesting ones includes how superstar Rajinikanth got to read the original Ponniyin Selvan novel by Kalki Krishnamurthy, which the upcoming movie is adapted from.
The novel was published nearly 7 decades back in 1955 in book format but before it, had been serialized in weekly editions of a popular magazine for five years. The total volume of pages, when the series was compiled, was almost 2000 pages. While speaking at the audio and music launch of the Ponniyin Selvan movie earlier this month, Rajinikanth revealed how he got to read the novel. He admitted that he was not much of a reader and mostly read short books with around 200 pages.
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Several years ago, when someone asked him if he had read Ponniyin Selvan, Rajinikanth was intimidated by the sheer size of the complete novel and gave it a miss, saying it was not for him. However, the actor credits having ultimately read the novel to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
In a question and answer session in a popular magazine back in the day, someone asked the late chief minister who she thinks fit to play the character of Vanthiyathevan if Kalki’s novel was ever made into a film. To this, Jayalalithaa took Rajinikanth’s name.
This piqued Rajinikanth’s interest in the novel and he read it in its entirety. He said that he was left awed by the sheer brilliance that writer Kalki Krishnamurthy had created through his words.