'Ponniyin Selvan-I' has reportedly bit the dust in the Telugu States. On its first Monday, the Mani Ratnam-directed magnum opus posted poor figures. Its best phase is over, considering that 'GodFather' and 'The Ghost' are going to give it stiff competition from Wednesday.
The film's Tamil version is a massive one. It posted unbelievably good numbers in Tamil Nadu and overseas on Monday.
What could be the reasons for the film's underperformance in Telugu? 'PS-I' is a drama and not a visual spectacle like a 'Baahubali'. For a drama to be enjoyed, the audience need to connect with the characters. The Telugu audience have no substantial emotional attachment to the Chola dynasty and its stalwarts. Moreover, the fictionalized novel 'Ponniyin Selvan' is not a Telugu literary treatise.
Mani Ratnam made the film a high-concept one. He didn't mind confusing the audience by getting straight into the story. Even after watching the first half, many audiences are not able to figure out what exactly are the motives of the different characters.
Chiranjeevi's voice-over narration in the initial minutes itself contains too much information. The Telugu audience are finding the entire story too dense.
The Telugu audience have certain ideas about what a masala drama should be like. They expected to watch great battle scenes in 'PS-I'. Expectations vs Reality mismatch resulted in disappointment.