09 Jan 2019 ● Tamil ● 2 hrs 52 mins
Rating: U/A (India)
Release Dates: 10 Jan 2019 (India), 10 Jan 2019 (Malaysia), 10 Jan 2019 (New Zealand), 10 Jan 2019 (Singapore), 10 Jan 2019 (Ukraine), 10 Jan 2019 (United Kingdom), 09 Jan 2019 (United States), 10 Jan 2019 (Russia), 10 Jan 2019 (United Arab Emirates)
Tamil Name: பேட்ட
We are shown a well lit sun light dipped church with perfectly saturated tones giving us a feel of imminent danger. In the next sequence a mercenary is talking to someone (must be his boss) and more people alight from a vehicle, enter the church and hear sounds of smashing and thrashing of people falling on the ground with a loud thud and for a moment they believe that their assigned task is almost complete, but a closer look brings them back to reality, it’s their target that is hammering their colleagues beating them black and blue. The camera is now focusing a few candles in the foreground and a silhouette emerges from the background with a resounding score and the candles go off, a sign of deference to the star. Amidst all this we see the title card on and off....nice. After a few interesting camera cum stunt sequences our star is hit from behind and he falls down but we all know that he will rise strongly. The boss is on the line again and that's where the camera looks behind to see a man with a sardonic smile a half blooded face ready to prance. He hits his prey with candelabra smashing him to the ground and looks at us saying "Naan veelven endru ninaithayo".
Petta is a film inspired from, dedicated to and performed by Rajinikanth a larger than life star of the south. He is back with a punch and is totally spirited in this outing. The whole movie has references from the actor's cinema oeuvre, a feast to all the self confessed Rajinikanth fans out there. Maestro Ilayaraja's music is used perfectly to suit the scenes....an example, where at the start we here "Vantha naal muthal, intha naal varai" giving us a hint of all the allusions that will ensue. The first half has various subplots, a mess contract problem, a love angle between Anwar and Anu, a not-so-formidable villain in Bobby Simha and an apparently cute love portion between Rajinikanth and Simran. A hostel warden in a reputed college, Kaali (the name, an appellation given to many of Rajinikanth's characters) finds ways to solve the problems that crop up and does so in a stylish way. The second half is where the actual story picks up and the director in Karthik Subbaraj enters. So far it was a fanboy who worshipped his star in his Petta of style and swagger. The allusions throughout the film are like what more does a fan need starting from swinging the gates open as in Apoorva Raagangal to the final “Raman andaalum Ravanan aanadalum” sequence. The cigarette toss too makes a stylish return. The lighting scheme used pays homage to Thalapthy. A watch sales and service store is named after Muthu. The nunchaku bits alluding to Paayum Puli. All of this is exquisite but the Subbarajesque story and screenplay will be missed a bit by his fans. Certain characters appear for a brief moment and disappear playing their roles right but making us feel that they could have stayed a bit more.
What is interesting is the twist in the climax. The story till that portion is well spun making us believe that Jithu is actually the son of Kaali. The twist in fact is revealed by narrating a famous portion from Ramayana, an ode to the epic. The antagonist in Singhaar and Jithu are well written and executed to the dot. Vijay Sethupathi and Nawazuddin Siddiqui played their roles perfectly and the former is more than a believable North Indian than the latter. Anirudh's music is a big big plus to the movie with the songs and BGMs hitting the right notes at the right time. Petta is all about Rajinikanth and the fanboy director complementing each other with an entertaining and twisting story filled with fanboy moments for the audiences uplifted by a resounding music and a resplendent camera work.
-Kausika Raajan V
Watched the movie after reading the reviews here. But seriously is there any story in the movie or simple 3 hours of rajini? Do we need 2 waste money for seeing rajini without any substance ? Disappointed.