With Petta's Pongal release, Rajinikanth will have a festival release 24 years after Baashha

Raja Sekar

November 15, 2018 08:55:48 IST

Superstar Rajinikanth’s films are like festivals for his ardent fans as their celebrations begin with early morning show. But there was a time when the actor used to release his films on festival days. However, of late, Rajinikanth opted out of the festival trend to help small films and other biggies in Tamil cinema, as his films eat out of others' revenue.

Rajinikanth and Simran in Petta poster. Twitter

Rajinikanth and Simran in Petta poster. Twitter

Rajinikanth’s last festival release was Chandramukhi, which hit the screens on Tamil New Year 2005 along with Kamal Haasan’s Mumbai Express and Vijay-starrer Sachein. Needless to say, Chandrumkhi was the box office winner of the Tamil Puthandu 2005. After Chandramukhi, Rajinikanth stayed out of festival releases. Though 2.0 was supposed to release on Diwali 2017, the extensive CG work pushed the release to this 29 November.

The latest update is that the superstar’s gangster action entertainer Petta is all set to release on Pongal 2019. Looking back at the statistics, the last Pongal release of Rajinikanth is Baashha (1995), the biggest turning point in the actor’s career. After 24 years, Rajinikanth-starrer Petta will release on Pongal, the second biggest festival in Tamil Nadu after Diwali.

Pongal is the ideal release date for a South biggie because for Telugu and Kannada people, Sankranthi is a bigger festival than Diwali and the local government provides a long holiday weekend.

There is buzz that 2.0 might not break all box office opening records as it is releasing on a non-festival day but everyone in the trade is confident about Petta for multiple reasons. Petta is being produced by Sun Pictures, which is known for its aggressive marketing and the film’s director Karthik Subbaraj has also stated that he has packaged the script with all necessary elements audience would expect in a Rajinikanth film. Another important reason why Petta is preferred over 2.0 by the trade because the former belongs to the safe-bet commercial mass masala genre. Though 2.0 is marketed as the most expensive film and is likely to attract audience with the VFX extravaganza, sci-fi action entertainers are still considered to be an unexplored genre in Tamil cinema.

Petta is easily the biggest Rajinikanth film with an ensemble of actors. Generally, the focus in any Rajinikanth film would be only on him, but Petta has a long list of promising actors including Simran, Trisha, Vijay Sethupathi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sasikumar, Bobby Simha, Sanath, Megha Akash and Mahendran.

In an earlier interview to Firstpost, actress Trisha said, “We all know that Petta is a Rajini sir film but Karthik Subbaraj has written the script in such a way that all the actors have an equal scope that their fans will not be disappointed. If Simran mam’s fans watch Petta, they will be satisfied with her portions. Similarly, Vijay Sethupathi and Nawazuddin’s fans will also like the scenes featuring their favorite actors which is a rarity when we have a superstar like Rajinikanth on board." Trisha also confirmed to Firstpost that she does not have any scene with Simran, which means Rajinikanth is paired opposite both of them but their stories are set in different backdrops.

Fans are also more excited about Petta than 2.0 because the success of the latter would be shared by Shankar and Akshay Kumar, but the former is a pucca Rajinikanth film. In Petta, Rajinikanth has two looks — one with a thick beard and another with a twirled mustache, depicting him as the son of the soil.

In the last two films, fans of Rajinikanth missed the actor’s lucky charm - SP Balasubrahmanyam singing the intro song. But being a diehard of the Superstar, both Karthik and Petta’s music composer Anirudh Ravichander have roped in the veteran singer for the opening number.

Besides Petta, Ajith’s Viswasam, STR’s Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven, RJ Balaji’s political satirical comedy LKG are scheduled to release on Pongal in Tamil Nadu. In the Telugu states, Ram Charan’s Vinaya Vidheya Rama, NTR biopic Kathanayakudu, starring Nandamuri Balakrishna, and Venkatesh-Varun Tej’s F2 are slated for Sankranthi release. In Karnataka, Rajinikanth would compete against Puneeth Rajkumar’s Natasarvabhouma.

Updated Date: Nov 15, 2018 08:55 AM