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Mani Ratnam explains how Ponniyin Selvan-1 recreates the grandeur of Chola-era jewellery

Ponniyin Selvan-1, directed by Mani Ratnam, will be released in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada.

Mani Ratnam explains how Ponniyin Selvan-1 recreates the grandeur of Chola-era jewellery

Mani Ratnam; the PS-1 poster featuring lead actors/Twitter 

Last Updated: 12.25 AM, Sep 27, 2022


Mani Ratnam's Ponniyin Selvan-1 (PS-1) will have a theatrical release, worldwide on September 30.

The film, based on the historical fiction novel by Kalki Krishnamurthy, bearing the same name, is set in the 10th century and deals with the period just before the dawn of a golden era.

Mani Ratnam opened up about the creation of Chola-era-inspired jewellery for the Ponniyin Selvan franchise.

On his collaboration with jewellery design house Kishandas & Co for the film, Mani Ratnam said, Kishandas was one of the best things that happened during the making.


“Our objective was to depict Ponniyin Selvan as truthfully as we could. We mostly shot in real locations with minimal sets. The movie was not supposed to be a fantasy costume drama. Jewellery plays a significant role in our effort to make it appear genuine rather than fake, along with settings and clothing. Each of the characters in Ponniyin Selvan 1 had to wear heavy jewellery; therefore when casting, we also kept this in mind. The cast must be able to carry them as beautifully as someone from the period would have.”

The filmmaker added, “Kishandas & Co put in as much effort into the film as we did. Everything was handled with utmost care.”

Mani Ratnam noted that several motifs and designs from the Chola era were used by the designers. “The jewellery was created by the team with consideration for the nature of each character in mind. We were able to tell right away how much they cared about the plot, the characters, and the period. They appeared to be delighted to be a part of the Ponniyin Selvan.”

To enhance the characters' beauty, traditional jewellery such as nose pins, vankis, arm bands, vaddanams, hair pieces, and neck pieces with traditional motifs were created. The ornaments inspired by temple jewellery of the era adorned by the Queen and Princesses were Thussis, long and medium necklaces, maang tikas, Maatha pattis, jhumkas, rings and bangles made in gold, predominantly set in Burmese rubies, some emeralds and uncut diamonds.

“Each piece was created to blend well with the costume, and the hair styling. The motifs used were mostly flowers, birds, lotus, peacocks, parrots, gods, goddesses and filigree work on the jewellery which is relevant to the Chola era,” according to the press release.

Jayam Ravi, Vikram and Karthi in PS-1
Jayam Ravi, Vikram and Karthi in PS-1

All of the distinctive looks for the leads and the supporting cast were conceptualised by costume designer Eka Lakhani in collaboration with Kishandas & Co. They seamlessly fit into the colour schemes Mani Ratnam created for each character.

The technical crew of Ponniyin Selvan-1 boasts music director AR Rahman, editor Sreekar Prasad, cinematographer Ravi Varman, production designer Thotta Tharrani, dialogue writer Jeyamohan, costume designer Eka Lakhani and makeup artist Vikram Gaikwad and choreographer Brinda.

Bankrolled by Madras Talkies and Lyca Productions, Ponniyin Selvan-1, will be released in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada.

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