Ponniyin Selva: I is an epic period drama film directed and co-produced by ace director Mani Ratnam, set to be released in cinemas on Sept 30 this year.

It is the first of two cinematic parts based on Kalki Krishnamurthy's 1955 novel Ponniyin Selvan, which tells about the early days of Arulmozhivarman, who later became the great Chola emperor Rajaraja Chola I.

The first look poster of the movie was recently released, depicting actor Vikram as Aditya Karikalan, the crown prince and the commander of Northern troops in Sundara Chola's reign, and the elder brother of Arulmozhivarman and Kundavai.

For the untrained eyes, the brown-tinged poster may look ordinary, but local TV personality-cum-newscaster Shalini Priyah Mogan has released a YouTube video decoding the meaning behind some of the items shown on the poster.

She begins by decoding a comet shown on the top right of the poster, and then goes on to explain the meaning behind the symbol.

According to her, comets figure extensively in the Ponniyin Selvan, and are often cited as a sign of impending doom.

Shalini then moves on to the image beneath the comet, which shows a hand carrying a baby above water.

She explains that the baby image is that of Arulmozhivarman, who wrongly falls into the mighty Ponni river, before he was saved by a hand that emerges from underneath the water.

While it is explained later in the novel on whose hand actually saves the baby from a possible death, it is said that Arulmozhivarman's father Sundara Chola takes it that the mighty Ponni river herself had saved the baby, hence the name "Ponniyin Selvan" (Son of Ponni).

The explanation then moves on to an image of a palanquin, which according to Shalini, is another item that figures extensively in the novel. As for the image of a snake beneath the palanquin, Shalini said it could be in reference to the cunning nature of the character who is in the palanquin.

Vikram's character is also seen sporting shields and a sword adorned with images of a tiger, which Shalini explains was the symbol of the Chola empire. Moving to the bottom left of the poster, she said that the ships shown indicate the powerful naval forces that the Chola kingdom possessed.

You can watch Shalini's complete poster decoding below:

Photo source: Twitter, YouTube