A little over a month since the release of 2.0, Rajinikanth is back with his next offering, Petta. While the megastar's last few outings – including Kaala (2018) and Kabali (2016) – were a departure from the commercial fares he is usually associated with, director Karthik Subbaraj promises that his latest venture showcases Rajinikanth in the avatar that his fans admire him the most in – a larger-than-life hero.
As the movie hits screens today, Subbaraj says, "I can't comment on his previous films, but I felt they were missing his swagger and style. In Petta, Rajini sir is playing to the gallery. I feel he will recreate his magic with this film. While writing the script, all the ingredients of a Rajinikanth special came in naturally." Assured of the movie's mass appeal, the director zeroed in on Pongal as the release date – it is Thalaiva's first Pongal release in over two decades since the runaway hit Baashha (1995).
The director of acclaimed hits such as Pizza (2012) and Jigarthanda (2014) has a fan-boy moment as he gushes over the leading man of his next. "Ever since I became a director, my desire was to direct him. I never thought it would happen so early on in my career."
Describing his association with the megastar as an enriching experience, Subbaraj says Rajinikanth's understanding of cinema reflects even in the smallest of his inputs. "I gave him a bound script before starting the film. On the first day, Rajini sir came with many changes that significantly improved the film." In fact, he credits the actor for the idea of roping in two antagonists for the film. "Rajini sir believed in having a strong antagonist to give the story a good kick. That is why when Petta demanded two antagonists, we decided on Nawazuddin [Siddiqui] and Vijay Sethupathi."
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