Karthik Subbaraj, in an interview, said that after hearing the script of Petta, Rajinikanth told him that only he could pull off this film. And that's every bit true. If giving his fans a Pongal treat was the only aim of Rajinikanth, then it is safe to say that he has finally hit the bull's eye... after two previous misses.
Petta is a well-made Rajinikanth film (it is high time we declared a genre for him). The success of Petta lies in the fact that it doesn't pretend to be anything else. Karthik Subbaraj as the director takes the backseat in the film and lets his Thalaivar take the wheel, and cleverly so.
There isn't much to say about the story of Petta. It is more or less a tribute to Rajinikanth's 1997 megahit film Baasha. Rajinikanth enters Petta as college warden Kaali but he is not what he claims to be, which is pretty obvious. He has a past; a bloody one that he camouflages with a jovial exterior, rightly claims Mangalam (Simran), Kaali's new found love interest, who also happens to be the mother of Anu (Megha Akash).