Mani Ratnam's Ponniyin Selvan: 2 is out in theatres worldwide and has been declared a blockbuster grossing over 200 crores at the box office. The film starring 'Chiyaan' Vikram, Jayam Ravi, Karthi, Trisha, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the lead roles features chart-topping songs and a power-packed musical score by Academy Award winner A. R. Rahman, including an amazing sound design. Considering sound plays a pivotal role in a magnum opus like Ponniyin Selvan, sound designer Anand Krishnamoorthi explained in an exclusive interview to Galatta the intricacies in sound production and design.
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Known among Tamil cinema fans for appearing as a child artiste in Anjali (1990), Thalapathi (1991), May Madham (1994), Sathi Leelavathi (1995), and Aasai (1995), Anand Krishnamoorthi, who also played a small role in Kamal Haasan's Unnaipol Oruvan (2009), spoke about his experiences as a sound designer for the Ponniyin Selvan films. Describing how the sounds for the horses were created, he said, "Factors like the footsteps , its breathing and vocalizations are there. Things like its saddle, bridle, and all those things are there. Apart from that, when a person sits on a horse, there will be a few movement sounds such as the leather creaks. This is the basic layer and there will be a specific ornamentation for a particular horse." He added, "For example, when Vanthiyathevan's horse Semban comes, there will be a small jingling sound and it's been created for that character. A horse running and standing at one point is not direct material. Aspects like how fast the horse is running in that scene and why, and what needs to be brought there emotionally are to be considered."
Anand continued, "If you look at Aditha Karikalan coming on his horse and talking, he'll be angry, happy, and that movement and the mood should be given by the horse as well. So, when the horse becomes an extension his body, we are required to bring in that performance in the foley and in its movement. These features are challenging and are understood by the audience immediately. It shouldn't come across like we have added a sound, but rather the praise should be for the performance."
Watch Anand Krishnamoorthi explain the sound design making in Ponniyin Selvan: 2 in the video below: