It seems that Bollywood diva Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has finalised her next project. She is doing the Mani Ratnam film that is being spoken about since a few months. The filmmaker brings out the best in Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, so it is always an exciting collaboration. The film, a period drama set in the Chola period will have her in the role of a power-hungry woman. The movie is based on a historical Tamil novel, Ponniyin Selvan, written by Kalki. Fans will remember that she played a negative role in Rajkumar Santoshi's Khakee. She played the role of a double agent in the film. A source told Mid Day, "The story takes place in the 10th century before Raja Raja Chola became a king. Aishwarya will be seen as Nandini, the wife of Periya Pazhuvettaraiyar, who served as the chancellor and treasurer of the Chola kingdom. Her character is written as a mysterious, power-hungry woman who manipulates her husband to plan the downfall of the Chola empire because she has been wronged by them.”
The novel is based on Arulmozhi Varman who became a great Chola emperor. He is known as Rajaraja I. It seems his kingdom extended till the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. He is the man who built the Brihadisvara Temple in Tanjore. It seems Mani Ratnam was planning the film for a decade. Other actors who are coming on board for the film adaptation of Ponniyin Selvan are Vikram, Simbu and Jayaram Ravi. It was rumoured that Amala Paul will also do the film. She did her first film with him in 1997, Iruvar. It was followed by the superhit Guru in 2007 and Ravanan in 2010. She has worked with Chiyaan Vikram before in Ravanan.
Hindustan Times earlier reported that pre-production work has started on the film. Huge sets have been made for the film. It is likely to roll from the end of 2019. There were reports that Amitabh Bachchan might join Aishwarya in the Mani Ratnam film. The two did their last film, Sarkar Raj which was 11 years before. Big B is already part of a huge Telugu period film, Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy that stars Chiranjeevi, Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupathi, Kichcha Sudeep and a host of other actors. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's dance with Abhishek and Big B in Kajra Re from Bunty Aur Babli (2005) is still loved by millions. Her last film Fanney Khan with Anil Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao had tanked at the box office.
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