Nawazuddin Siddiqui is, undoubtedly, one of the finest actors in Bollywood right now. He is mostly appreciated for his unconventional roles, which he more than justifies with his commendable acting skills.
Adding another feather to his cap, the brilliant actor has now entered Tamil cinema and that too in a Rajnikanth starrer!
Nawaz plays the antagonist Singaar Singh in Petta which also stars Vijay Sethupathi, Simran Bagga and Trisha Krishnan. Even in the past, Nawaz has shared screen space with the ‘bigger’ stars in many of his movies. Despite of that, he’s made his performance count every single time. And on several occasions walked away with the accolades too! Remember Bajrangi Bhaijaan with Salman Khan and Aamir Khan’s Talaash. Is Petta one such movie?
Nawaz plays Singaar Singh with much conviction and even looks the part. He has not dubbed his lines in the Tamil version, but that doesn’t come across as an obstacle in his acting. Unfortunately, there are too many things stacked against him. Firstly, Petta is literally a celebration of everything that is Rajnikanth. It’s a movie for the Rajni fans made by a Rajni fan.
Secondly, there is another villain in Vijay Sethupathi —a phenomenal actor who delivers a solid performance in the movie. Both Vijay and Nawaz’s roles seem to exist only to take the plot forward so that Rajni can regale his fans. Both villains have very little to do, and Nawaz even lesser.
Even in such an underwhelming script, Nawaz shines. He is very relatable and knows exactly when to switch gears. Importantly, he manages to hold his own against both Rajnikanth and Vijay. That alone is no mean feat!
By all means, Nawaz has made an interesting debut in the Tamil cinema. Is it one of his better performances? Maybe not. He might not have taken centre stage but he definitely doesn’t fade out, too.