Ever since Karthik Subbaraj announced a film with Rajinikanth, bankrolled by Sun Pictures, there have been high expectations. Titled Petta, this is Superstar’s 165th film. The director has managed to pull a casting coup with a stellar cast including Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui (making his foray into Tamil cinema), Trisha, Simran, Sasikumar, Vijay Sethupathi, Malayalam actor Manikandan R Achari, Bobby Simha and others.
After Kabali and Kaala, it’s rumoured that Rajinikanth will be seen as an ageing gangster in Petta. However, there is no official word on the same yet. One of the posters that were unveiled a couple of months ago, showed the Superstar clad in white dhoti and shirt, with sacred ash on his forehead, sporting a horseshoe moustache.
While Anirudh Ravichander is the music director, National Award winning stunt master Peter Hein has choreographed two stunt sequences in the film and Tirru of 24 fame is behind the camera.
The audio launch of Petta, scheduled to release on Pongal 2019, was held on Sunday at Sri Sairam Engineering College in Chennai. The event was also telecast on Sun TV.
Read all the updates from Petta audio launch. Read the updates in Tamil.
Petta will a very good entertainer, Rajinikanth
"If we like a kid a lot, we will enjoy whatever it does. And I am like that kid. Filmmakers, makeup artists and cameramen dress me up and make me look so good on screen. Karthik Subbaraj has taken me back to the 80s. Petta will a very good entertainer, you will enjoy it on Pongal, says Rajinikanth.
Vijay Sethupathi is a great actor, Rajinikanth
"Vijay Sethupathi is a great actor. And he's also a great human being. I was so happy to have had an opportunity to work with an actor like him after a long time," says Rajinikanth.
Rajinikanth's thanks Kalanithi Maran
2.0 is extremely doing well across the country and abroad. Kalanithi Maran was the main reason. And all the credit for its success goes to director Shankar. It won't be wrong to say Kalanithi Maran was one of the main reasons for 2.0 to happen. He is the one who started this franchise by producing Enthiran. And after the film became a success, he came home and handed me a cheque of Rs 1 crore. No producer, I know, has done something like this.
Rajinikanth is on stage
Rajinikanth begins his speech by expressing solidarity with the victims of Cyclone Gaja. "The cyclone has caused a massive destruction and is not fair to expect that the government to single-handedly. We should all do our bit to help the victims.
It is a dream come true to score for Thalaivar, says Anirudh Ravichander
Anirudh gives a live performance of Petta Parak and Marana Mass. "Karthik Subbaraj is a much bigger fan of Rajinikanth. And I dedicate the music album to all the fans of Thalaivar. Petta will be a feast during Pongal," says the young composer.
There's only one superstar, says Kalanithi Maran
Kalanithi Maran says, "Vivek is a very talented lyricist. And when I saw Anirudh Ravichander I realized that we shouldn't someone by their looks. Anirudh looks like a thin pencil but he is such a talented musician. Anirudh, you should bring the next Oscar to India. Karthik Subbaraj has made Petta very differently but it is also massy. Rajinikanth is a very simple man. I repeat my words again, there can't be another Superstar like Rajinikanth."
It's like a festival here, says Nawazuddin
“It's like a festival here. I have never seen anything like this. Everyone watches Rajinikanth's films everywhere in the world. Once Anurag Kashyap and I watched a Rajinikanth film in Kenya,” says Nawazuddin Siddiqui. He thanks director and producers for this opportunity.
Petta is made by fans of Rajinikanth, says Karthik Subbaraj
"I was working at a software company but it is because of Rajinikanth sir I became passionate about films. Rajinikanth sir sends a lot of positive vibes even when he is miles away. After Pizza, I got a call from Rajinikanth's house. I thought some of my friends were pulling a prank on me until I heard his voice from the other end. First time I met him after I made Jigarthanda. I wanted to meet him to get his feedback while he was shooting for Lingaa in Karnataka. He liked the movie and he said Bobby Simha's character reminded him of his character Parattaya. I told him that I write films only with him in my mind. And he replied then 'why didn't you come to me ?' The day I met him, I forgot to take his autograph. So I got in touch with his manager, and I was told that Rajinikanth sir has agreed to meet me again. When I met him, he asked me if I have any scripts for him. And it took two days to sink in me that Rajinikanth sir asked a script from me. Petta is made by fans of Rajinikanth. We put in a lot of thought in filming every single shot of Rajinikanth sir. Vijay Sethupathi is also a big Rajinikanth fan. He told me that one day I will direct Rajinikanth sir in a film. And when it happens, he will play the villain in the project. It was another dream come true moment to work with Nawazuddin Siddiqui sir. He is also a Rajini fan," says Karthik Subbaraj.
Performance on Ullaallaa
A group of dancers perform to Petta song "Ullaallaa".
Photos: Petta audio launch
"உலகம் நிறைய பொய் கொடுத்துட்டே தான் இருக்கும்.— Sun TV (@SunTV) December 9, 2018
Eg: வெள்ளையா இருக்கிறவன் தான் நல்லவன்
ஆனா, எல்லாத்தையும் ஒடச்சி எரிஞ்சவரு தான் சூப்பர் ஸ்டார்
Watch #PettaAudioLaunchOnSunTv Right now..#PettaAudioParak pic.twitter.com/LZzIr6Nb7P
Petta audio will also be marana mass, says Trisha
“Thank you Karthik for thinking of me and giving me space in such a big film. I am sure like Petta, Petta audio will also be marana mass,” says Trisha.
There can never be another Superstar, says Trisha
"Nobody can say they aren't a fan of Rajini sir. There can never be another Superstar. i was so fortunate to witness him as a wonderful human being and co actor. He is one of the most intelligent and funniest people ever. He is such a disciplined artiste. He is truly an inspiration,” says Trisha.
Simran performs at audio launch
Simran performs a few steps of "Ra Ra" from Chandramukhi.
Rajinikanth is truly a superstar, says Simran
"Sir is a wonderful person by heart. And a great actor. I am a huge fan of his style. I like everything about him. He is truly a superstar. I am not talking as Simran, but his fan," says Simran.
Simran on Petta
"I am feeling so happy. On my birthday, I received a message from Karthik Subbaraj about this project. Thanks Petta team for believing in me," says Simran.
Unique album launch
The audience gets a chance to launch Petta album. All they have to do is dial 8828888028. No celebrity, no guests. Everyone has been made a part of this album unveiling.
Anirudh is one of the sweetest persons I know, says Vivek
"Anirudh Ravichander has the pressure to succeed every time and he just aces it. He is one of the sweetest persons I know," says lyricist Vivek.
Vivek on Rajinikanth
"There's a common perception that only fair guys look handsome. Generations ago, Rajini sir broke that. I thank Superstar for having entertained the audience for more than four decades," says lyricist Vivek.
I play a villain in Petta, says Vijay Sethupathi
"Nawazuddin is one of the best actors I have worked with. Eppodhume, periya aala edhirthaadhan naamum periya aal. So I play a villain in Petta," says Vijay Sethupathi.
Petta is full of surprises, says Vijay Sethupathi
"Karthik always thinks about cinema and he has surprised me always with amazing content. Petta is full of surprises. You will be hooked to the end," says Vijay Sethupathi.
Acting with Rajini sir is a dream come true experience, says Vijay Sethupathi
“Acting with Rajini sir is a dream come true experience. Not even in my wild dreams, I have thought of acting alongside such a star of his stature,” says Vijay Sethupathi.
Sasikumar heaps praise on Rajinikanth
"Even today he comes to the sets ahead of time for shooting. He is someone who takes his craft seriously. He is always on the sets and doesn't go to the caravan. Each and every scene has come out well. Please don’t quit films, sir. Continue acting. Every director dreams to make a film for Superstar. I also have such ideas," says director Sasikumar.
Rajinikanth is super friendly and humble, says Sasikumar
“I have watched Superstar's films first day first show at theaters, and now I am acting with him. He is super friendly and humble. We have discussed many things on the sets. And his energy is infectious,” says director Sasikumar.
Rajinikanth is God to me, says Bobby Simha
“Pongal ku varom-nga. Petta parak. I wasn't sure if I would ever meet him in life. I got an opportunity to act with him. I am elated beyond words. He is God to me. It is enough if he just stands in front of me. He need not have to even act,” says Bobby Simha.
Nakshatra & Vigneshkanth
VJs Nakshatra and Vigneshkanth turn anchors for Petta audio launch.
Petta audio launch begins
Petta audio launch begins with a performance on Enthiran song Irumbile Oru Idhaiyam.
Rajinikanth is here!
Superstar Rajinikanth arrives for Petta audio launch. Everyone is screaming Thalaivaa. He is accompanied by producer Kalanithi Maran of Sun Pictures. Rajinikanth waves at fans and the auditorium goes crazy.
Dhanush's sons are here!
Latha Rajinikanth arrives for Petta audio launch with Dhanush's sons Yatra and Lingaa.
Karthik Subbaraj is here!
Karthik Subbaraj, Anirudh Ravichander and Simran arrive for Petta audio launch.
Trisha is here!
Samuthirakani, Sasikumar and Trisha arrive for Petta audio launch. Most of the crew is here already.
Fans are being given Petta T-shirts. Fans are clicking selfies with the T-shirts.
Arrangements at Petta audio launch
The stage is brightly lit with red neon colours. There is a huge poster of Rajinikanth on the stage from one of his looks in Petta -- the ageing gangster.
Songs setting the mood
Two projectors have been installed which are playing songs from Superstar’s old films.
We are inside!
The stage is set for the trailer launch of Rajinikanth starrer Petta.
A weekend with Rajinikanth
Fans have turned up in large numbers, most of them belonging to Rajinikanth's political party. They are here with their families to "enjoy their weekend."
Fans gear up for Petta audio launch
Magimairani, who has come for the audio launch of Petta, says, "I work for women's wing of Rajini Makkal Mandram. I have been waiting since 2 pm to see Thalaivar."
She adds, “I think I missed seeing him going in the car. Anyway, I can't wait to see him at the launch.”
All roads lead to Petta audio launch
The road leading towards Petta audio launch venue, Sri Sairam Engineering College. Traffic has been blocked on the road leading to the venue. Only vehicles with passes are allowed further. College buses are taking people from the 4 km distance to the auditorium.