Rajinikanth And The Existential Underpinnings In Pa Ranjith’s Kabali

Language: Tamil

Cast: Rajinikanth, Vijay Sethupathi, Trisha, Simran, Nawazuddin Siddiqui

Director: Karthik Subbaraj

1) Petta is less movie more tribute. There’s a future drinking game in there somewhere each time an old Rajinikanth dialogue, scene, song or even gesture in referenced. A pen and paper is a must for future viewings.

2) There’s no question of the cast and crew’s love for the man. Tirru, the cinematographer, has poured his devotion into every frame. Watch out for a terrific Broadway-like dance number set on the roof of a college hostel. It’s many different types of cool.

3) For all the talk of Simran and Trisha, they have surprisingly little to do in this film. Same is the case with the character played by Megha Akash.

4) The film uses music interestingly, especially the ‘Marana Mass’ introduction song. It has a very functional way of taking the story forward, though it manages to punctuate the proceedings with a lot of ‘Superstardom’.

5) The tributes continue even in the form of sub-plots. We find an old Muslim friend in Petta too though his name is not Anwar Baasha. But we do get another Anwar.

6) There are a few stretches in the film that feel generic and unexciting. Such scenes feel far too familiar and predictable to keep us glued for long.

7) Another interesting aspect of the film is how the biblical motifs (cathedral arches, crosses, guardian angels, statues) are replaced later by motifs from Hindu mythology.

8) Actions scenes are a hit and a miss. One of them, set within the college hostel in the dark is beautifully shot. The use of flashlights and water in it is a wonderful sight. But the same cannot be said about a shoot out later on.

9) One wishes some of the technical wizardry had also gone into the writing. The writer in Karthik Subbaraj seems to have taken a back seat for the Rajini fan in him.

10) All said and done, it’s a film by, for and of Rajini fans. It has issues, some major, but there’s something magical about a man if he can make even a college warden look cool.

Rating:   star

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