Evaluation: 2.75 / 5
Banner: Photos of the sun
To throw: Rajinikanth, Simran, Trisha, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vijay Sethupathi, Bobby Simha, Megha Akash, Sasikumar, Malvika Mohanan others
Editing : Vivek Harshan
Fights: Pierre Hein
Producers: Photos of the sun
Written and directed: Karthik Subbaraju
Release date: Jan 10, 2019
These days, Rajinikanth releases films at regular intervals. After ‘Kaala’ and ‘2.0’, here is ‘Petta’. This film by Karthik Subbaraj promised to Rajinify us.
Is it really worth the hype?
Kaali (Rajinikanth) comes to a college in Hill Station as the director of an inn. He fixes the ragged guys and tries to solve a young lover’s problem and is also impressed with Mangala (Simran), a pranic healer. But he’s not what he appears to be, he’s hiding something.
And the twist is revealed, he came to this college to save a person. Kaali’s real name is Veera Petta.
What is his story, why did he come to this hill station which forms the rest of the drama?
Compared to Kaali and ‘2.0’, Rajinikanth looks quite stylish here and he doesn’t hide his age in the movie. In both avtaars of Kaali and Veera Petta, Rajinikanth is great but the most entertaining is Kaali. Kaali is a vintage Rajinikanth. The style, the manners, the laughter remind us of his old films in the first half.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the main villain once again gives a good performance.
Vijay Sethupathi in a key role brings additional value to the story.
Simran and Trisha are both used like curry leaves in a dish, it doesn’t matter, not a lot of space for them.
Bobby Simha and Megha Akash also play small roles.
The films of director Karthik Subbaraju always rely heavily on technical values. Much of the film takes place at a hill station and cameraman Thiru put the right look with his lighting model.
The main highlight is the camera work. While the first half is dominated by blue and black, the second half is brighter. The songs aren’t that catchy except for the song by Marana Mass, but Anirudh gave a good background score. Editing lacks consistency.
Rajinikanth’s style and play
Fun first half
Dragging out the second half
Superstar Rajinikanth has tried to reinvent himself to connect with the current generation of audiences, but none of his films have fully satisfied fans and the general public, while some have worked to some extent. He constantly plays roles that are appropriate for his age.
Then again, he played a role he had played in his career in the past. The closest role is the iconic “Baasha”. Like ‘Baasha’, this Kaali aka Petta is fiery but he’s older now, his movements aren’t that fast.
Karthik Subbaraj has stated that he is a die-hard Rajinikanth fan in the title itself. So, he used the basic thread from the movie ‘Baasha’ for this ‘Petta’.
Interestingly, other characters keep asking him that you must have a story, you are not who you are, looking for revenge, etc. In ‘Baasha’ he is hiding as a car driver, here he is Kaali, the hostel manager. The rest of the story is a bit of Baasha and other Rajinikanth films.
The second half goes more in the style of Karthik Subbaraj’s trademark and this is where the film suffers the most. The first half is very entertaining, with Rajinikanth leading the show.
We haven’t seen this stylish Rajinikanth lately. His one man show in the first half doesn’t provide a dull moment. The fight sequences using dark and shadow lights and patterns and its comedy worked in the first half.
Even the brief romantic streak between Rajinikanth and Simran, the Pranic Healer is hilarious. It looks quite stylish here.
However, what worked in ‘Baasha’ – the revenge part failed here. Director Karthik Subbaraju missed the post-interval thread he drags on the film. It’s only in the climactic part that he catches the beat and presents his trademark touch.
Also, the director tried to give the character of Vijay Sethupathi a lot of elevation who ate up a lot of runtime, which makes him even more tiring.
Uttar Pradesh streaks and chases aren’t engaging enough although Petta’s flashback is good in the second half.
Karthik Subbaraj mainly sticks to Rajini’s formula. It also brings out the “entertaining” Rajinikanth in many episodes.
For a Telugu audience, the post-interval parts aren’t very popular and there isn’t much novelty in terms of the plot either, but ‘Petta’ is a better film among its recent films and we also got to see the old Rajinikanth in many sequences.
Overall, ‘Petta’ is a movie for Rajini fans.
At the end of the line : Rajinified