Can a movie appeal easily to an average Indian viewer if it doesn’t contain any romance, item numbers, profanity, high end action sequences or even mainstream actors?
The answer is YES and Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya is that kind of movie. The protagonist is projected as a show-off yet a brilliant detective. He imagines himself to be very popular and so barges onto crime scenes convincing the police that he will solve these cases. Basically, he is sought after to solve only small-time cases for his livelihood. As in every detective story, the hero waits for a breakthrough where luck will favour him and make him well known and respected for real.
The titular character is essayed comfortably by Naveen Polishetty. Inspite of being a debutant actor, he shows versatility in his acting. His voice modulation skills and vivid changes in body language work wonders for his character.
The character is a movie buff and gains his detecting skills just by watching crime thrillers. A big fan of Sherlock Holmes, he sees himself as an Indian version of his idol emulates his behaviour and flair. Like in Sherlock novels, here too he is assisted by a partner Sneha and helped by an informer Sirish. The film takes it time to stretch the protagonist’s limits and shows how badly he needs a breakthrough case. The challenge of the case unravels many twists and turns and the aftermath is rest of the movie.
The debutant filmmaker Swaroop knew what he wanted to convey and made a movie that delivers his vision. The film is filled with light hearted humour yet it deals with a dark social issue. The issue is conveyed in a promising and well-structured manner. The pacing is slow in the initially but picks up pace as the plot unravels.
Inspite of belonging to a complicated genre, the filmmaker manages to make his story appealing to the audience through his amazing storytelling skills. The dialogues are decent generating laughs as well as the required intensity in most scenes. The cinematography and background score are also the positives in this film. The colours of the visuals are bright and blends with the plot.
The only negative in the film is the hasty climax. The Agent’s unravelling of big mysteries and exposing them seems too rushed.
Overall, Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya is a brave and well executed debut by filmmaker Swaroop. The film has its heart in the right place and having another debutant actor Naveen Polishetty is sheer magic.