Rajinikanth’s new film, “Petta” releases Jan. 10. (photo provided)

MUMBAI— Directing Rajinikanth can be the ultimate high for any director, and celebrated director Kartik Subbaraj is extremely happy to finally direct the man because of whom he got into movies, in “Petta.”

On Rajinikanth, Subbaraj said, “None of us can define why we were attracted to Rajinikanth or the magic he does. But he does have some sort of magic. Beyond that, I see him as one of the greatest performers in our country. Beyond the style and the stunts, he is a very detailed performer. He knows his meter, and his meter is different from other actors. When you give him a heavy scene, he performs in a different way. I wanted the performer in Rajinikanth to show in my film.”

He added, “He was very energetic in the songs, dances and stunts. He was as energetic as he was in his prime in the ’80s and ’90s. You imagine something and write a scene, but Rajini-sir performs at another level. If my level is seven or eight, he takes it to 10.”

Talking about the film, Subbaraj said, “This script is definitely the most massy, commercial script I have written so far. It was a new experience for me to create scenes for a larger-than-life hero. I could not treat the scenes as I have in ‘Pizza’ or ‘Iraivi.’ But ‘Petta’ is not just an out-and-out masala film, as it has very strong content.”

The film also stars Vijay Sethupathi and Nawazuddin Siddiqui with Trisha Krishnan and Simran and has been shot in Darjeeling, Dehra Dun, Lucknow and Varanasi. Music is by Anirudh Ravichander.

The film will be released in Hindi and Telugu by Sun Pictures Jan. 11 and Jan. 10, respectively.

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