Petta – A tribute to Rajinikanth by a Rajni Fan

Petta is like the invigorating jolt you get from chugging two energy drinks back-to-back. Directed by Karthik Subbaraj, a self-confessed die-hard fan of Rajinikanth, this film is a love letter to the Thalaivar and his legion of fans. In an era of fleeting stardom, Petta serves as a testament to enduring screen charisma, celebrating the quintessential Rajinisms that have enthralled audiences for decades. Subbaraj’s understanding of what makes the Superstar iconic is evident throughout the film, as he skillfully brings back the massy dialogues and larger-than-life persona that define Rajinikanth. This film is a vibrant showcase of Rajinikanth’s unmatched style, leaving fans rajnified and craving more. 

Plot Summary 

Kaali (Rajinikanth) joins a college as a hostel warden, bringing his own playful charm to set things in order. He navigates through the campus dynamics with ease, playing Cupid to a young couple, romancing the girl’s mother, and putting rowdy boys in their place. However, there’s more to Kaali than meets the eye. Soon, his past catches up with him, leading him to a confrontation with Singhar Singh (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), a right-wing politician, and his violent son, Jithu (Vijay Sethupathi), in Uttar Pradesh. The film’s basic plot is a reinvention of Rajinikanth’s biggest hit, “Baashha,” but Subbaraj introduces enough variations to keep it fresh and engaging. The narrative unfolds with an amazing revelation and culminates in a punch-packed climax that leaves the audience in awe. 

The Magic Behind the Success 
  • Rajinikanth’s Superstar Persona: Petta gives fans the Thalaivar they’ve been longing to see. It’s a treat to witness Rajinikanth in super form, reminding us why he remains unparalleled. His style, mass, and gestures are a visual delight. In “Petta,” he redefines his persona, bringing an infectious energy to every scene. The moments where a thug describes a gangster while Rajini sits calmly, and the scene where Thalaivar takes on the goons in the hostel, are just perfect and don’t get better. 
  • Visual Flair: The film boasts stunning visuals, making it the best-looking Rajinikanth film since “Thalapathy.” The vibrant colors and meticulous production design add to the film’s overall mood, creating a visually captivating experience. Thirru’s cinematography ensures that every frame is a treat to the eyes, blending style and substance seamlessly. 
  • Fanboy Zeal: Subbaraj’s passion for Rajinikanth shines through in every frame. He delivers the Rajinisms fans adore, crafting each scene with precision and a deep understanding of what every Rajini fan wants to see. The film is filled with moments that are quintessentially Rajinikanth, from his iconic walk to his charismatic dialogues, making it a celebration of the Superstar’s legacy. 
  • Supporting Cast: The film’s supporting cast, including Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vijay Sethupathi, deliver powerful performances that complement Rajinikanth’s larger-than-life presence. Siddiqui’s portrayal of the antagonist Singhar Singh is menacing and adds depth to the narrative. Vijay Sethupathi’s performance as Jithu is equally compelling, creating a formidable adversary for Kaali. 
  • Music and Soundtrack: Anirudh Ravichander’s music adds another layer of excitement to the film. The background score and songs are perfectly synchronized with the narrative, enhancing the overall viewing experience. Tracks like “Marana Mass” have become anthems for Rajini fans, further amplifying the film’s impact. 
  • Action Sequences: The action sequences in Petta are a visual spectacle. Choreographed by Peter Hein, they highlight Rajinikanth’s agility and style. The fight scenes are not just about physical prowess but are also infused with the Superstar’s signature swagger. These sequences are designed to elicit whistles and applause from the audience, and they succeed brilliantly. 
  • Nostalgia Factor: Petta is filled with nostalgic references that pay homage to Rajinikanth’s illustrious career. From the iconic “Baashha” shades to the classic Rajini punchlines, the film is a treasure trove for longtime fans. Subbaraj weaves these elements into the narrative seamlessly, creating moments that evoke memories of Rajinikanth’s past films while keeping the story fresh and engaging. 
  • Character Depth: While Petta is primarily a celebration of Rajinikanth, Subbaraj ensures that the characters are well-developed and integral to the plot. Kaali is a multifaceted character with a mysterious past, and his journey is both engaging and emotionally resonant. The supporting characters, including the college students and Kaali’s love interest, add layers to the narrative, making it more than just a star vehicle. 
  • Cinematic Brilliance: Karthik Subbaraj’s direction is top-notch, blending style with substance. His ability to balance mass appeal with a coherent storyline is commendable. The film’s pacing is brisk, ensuring that there’s never a dull moment. Subbaraj’s craftsmanship is evident in every scene, making Petta a cinematic treat. 


Petta is less of a Karthik Subbaraj film and more of a Rajini film – and that’s precisely why it works. It sticks to the formula while injecting freshness into the narrative. Subbaraj’s direction, combined with Rajinikanth’s unparalleled charisma, creates a film that is both a tribute to the Superstar and a highly entertaining cinematic experience. Petta is a must-watch for Rajinikanth fans and a testament to the enduring appeal of one of cinema’s greatest icons.