'Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya' Review: New 'Age'nt Thriller

Movie: Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya
Rating: 3/5
Banner:
Swadharm Entertainment
Cast: Naveen Polishetty, Shruti Sharma, Ravi Varma and others
Music: Mark K Robin
Cinematographer: Sunny Kurapati
Editor: Amit Tripathi
Art: Kranthi Priyam
Producer: Rahul Yadav Nakka
Written and Directed by: Swaroop RSJ
Release date: June 21, 2019

The director and actors of “Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya” are newcomers yet this movie has generated buzz thanks to its exciting trailer that reminded many of old hits like Chiranjeevi’s “Chantabbayi”.

Has the film lived up to the expectations? Let’s find out.

Story:
Sai Srinivas Athreya (Naveen Polishetty) is a private detective in Nellore. The concept of a private detective or agent is new to this small city and he hardly finds any work. He deals cases with a lady assistant Sneha (Shruti Sharma).

A police officer puts Athreya in a jail for one day as a suspect in a case and in the lockup room, he meets a guy named Maruthi Rao who tells him that his daughter was brutally raped and murdered in Ongole.

Athreya takes up this case. Murders follow, twists and turns take place.

Artistes’ Performances:
Naveen Polishetty had earlier acted in shows made for the web and Youtube. This must have given him enough experience to act natural and casual. Naveen has shown lot of variety in his performance in this very first film as lead actor. He has shown lot of swag and has absolute great dialogue delivery too.

Shruti Sharma as Sneha is neat. All other actors are new comers and are good.

Technical Excellence:
Film is made on a shoestring budget. So, cinematography and production values are bare minimum.

Mark Robin’s background score is the main highlight. He has added the mood with his musical score. Editing is wobbly.

Highlights:
Second half
Humor
Naveen Polishetty

Drawback:
Boring initial sequences
Defies logic

Analysis
“Agent Srinivas Athreya” begins much like Chiranjeevi’s “Chantabbayi”. Naveen Polishetty’s character and his assistant’s roles are designed exactly like Sherlock Holmes and John Watson but this film in the beginning gives impression that it is paying tribute to “Chantabbayi”.

In the first 45-minutes, Naveen Polishetty and Shruti Sharma have indulged in regular bantering which doesn’t engage us. Only after that the film gets to the point and things have turned serious. The real investigation and thrills begin thereafter.

The screenplay is quite gripping post-interval and the final twist in the story is also quite novel. For the first time, we have come to know that some dead bodies are used for a hi-tech scam.

The film begins with the note that it is fictional story based on real incidents and in the final end credits, the newspaper cuttings of this actual scam is also shown. This angle is quite new for a movie story.

As Agent Sai Srinivas, Naveen Polishetty holds the movie from the start to finish with his terrific acting style. He has exhibited various modulations in dialogue delivery so easily.

Even when the film’s pace goes down, Naveen lifts it with his acting. The director has also tried to present the serious novel thrilling point with a dose of humor.

There are lot of references to old Hollywood hits and as well as ‘Chantabbayi’. So, many scenes also remind us of old movies. Some references are used for spoof and humor and some directly for dramatic effect.

We have seen many thrillers but the way this is packaged is very novel. Credit goes to the new director.

The interesting point is that the main scam and case is also interlinked to Agent Athreya’s personal tragedy. This is a clever decision by the writer and director.

There are also many subtle humorous scenes like hero naming his agency as FBI – Fatima Bureau of Investigation and another private detective (pilla agent) from Hasan in Karnataka also establishing similar agency FBI – Friends Bureau of Investigation.

The film’s thrilling points occur in the second half. On the downside, the track of Naveen and Shruti Sharma is unconvincing. Why would a girl agree to be his assistant when he himself is not doing well as investigator? Why would she go with him day and night for petty money?

There is no serious explanation for her being his assistant? Also, one police officer being so mean to him and another one going all out to help is clichéd.

Despite all this, “Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya” makes an interesting watch and introduces a talented actor in the form of Naveen Polishetty.

Bottom-line: Sherlock Holmes Meets Chantabbayi

(Venkat Arikatla can be reached at venkat@greatandhra.com)