Ace filmmaker Mani Ratnam's magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan, an adaptation of legendary Tamil writer Kalki Krishnamurthy's acclaimed book of the same name, is set for a grand opening in cinemas worldwide on September 30. With the countdown now on for the epic historical film's release, the iconic director sat down with National Award-winning film critic Baradwaj Rangan, the Editor-in-Chief of Galatta Plus, to talk about his experience shooting it, while also shedding light on how it was to finally accomplish his dream project. 

Speaking about how Ponniyin Selvan is the toughest film he has done to date, Mani Ratnam said, "It was [tough]. Undoubtedly it was. But, strangely, I think I'll say this is the project which I've enjoyed the most while shooting. You know it's a strange thing [because] it was tough, it had all the difficulty, it had scale, just the size of the crew and cast was that many. But, day in, day out, it was very enjoyable. I mean, it felt very good at the end of each day, and we were shooting with all the difficulty and there were chances where we didn't know whether we'll be able to shoot again or not. But, within all that, I think we did enjoy it. I think all of us did. I'm not too sure about the rest of them, but I really did enjoy the shoot. So, it was tough, yes, but I think it was also very, very enjoyable." 

When asked about whether the logistical aspect made Ponniyin Selvan a tough project to shoot, Mani Ratnam stated, "Yes, I think to shoot anywhere, to assemble anywhere, even if I shoot here in this room, any scene, which I can't, but if I had to, it still would be for Ponniyin Selvan and it will be elaborate. There are so many people, so many looks, so many props that have to be changed, and so many elements that come into it. The entire hair and makeup department will come, the costume department will come, and there might be something going outside and we'll have to arrange for that. So, anything and everything, no shoot was an easy shoot. It needed a whole team and it worked only because I had a really, really strong team." 

Watch Mani Ratnam in conversation with Baradwaj Rangan about Ponniyin Selvan: 1 in the interview below: