Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya
|Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Swaroop RSJ|
|Produced by||Rahul Yadav Nakka|
|Screenplay by||Swaroop RSJ |
|Starring||Naveen Polishetty |
|Music by||Mark K Robin|
|Edited by||Amit Tripathi|
|Box office||est. ₹20 crore|
Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya is a 2019 Indian Telugu-language comedy thriller film written and directed by Swaroop RSJ and produced by Rahul Yadav Nakka. The film stars Naveen Polishetty as the titular character along with Shruti Sharma, Appaji Ambarisha Darbha and Suhas. It follows a Nellore-based detective whose life runs into danger when he starts investigating the case of a dead body abandoned near a railway track.
The film was released theatrically on 21 June 2019, and received generally positive reviews from critics. The screenplay, subject, humor and Polishetty's performance were praised, while the pacing was criticised. The film became a commercial success and was considered as one of the best Telugu films of 2019.
Agent Sai Sreenivas Athreya (Naveen Polishetty) wakes up in the middle of the night to a personal tragedy, the death of his mother. He goes home to Nellore from his college in Bhopal, only to see his mother has already been cremated by his uncle.
3 years later, he is a detective in Nellore with his assistant Sneha (Shruti Sharma) who helps him in cases for FBI (Fathima Bureau of Investigation) in Nellore. He solves many small cases such as solving a temple robbery and trying to see who removed a milk packet from someone’s house. His friend Sirish informs him of an unidentified body in Venkatachalam. When Agent goes there, the police arrest him for the night. In jail that night, he meets Maruthi Rao who tells him the story of his daughter Divya, who went to Ongole and did not return. He gives the phone numbers of three people who were the last to contact Divya before she was murdered: Ajay, Harsha and Vasudha. Agent and Sneha, upon investigation based on the phone numbers, confirm that Ajay and Harsha were in Ongole the day Divya was murdered, while Vasudha cannot be traced. Agent and Sneha follow them both all day, who go to various shops such as rental car, mortuary, and railroad. At the end of the day Agent recognizes Divya somewhere along a highway, who doesn’t speak Telugu and feigns ignorance. Before long, Agent is arrested for the murders of Harsha and Ajay, who have been murdered. Agent realizes that he was framed as the murderer: Gopalam, under the alias of Maruthi Rao, made up a story about Divya to get Agent to follow Ajay and Harsha before they get murdered.
Agent gets out on bail due to evidence that he was in Venkatachalam asking for Maruthi Rao, but he only has five more days since someone has set up strong evidences against him. While Agent and Sneha were investigating for clues at Harsha's house, someone tries to take Agent's life by suffocating him. Meanwhile, a father registers a complaint about his missing daughter, and the missing daughter is Vasudha who turns out to be dead. Agent then catches Bobby (Suhas) who has been following Agent around, but in fact is a detective just like Agent fed with false information that Agent is the real murderer. Agent figures out that there is a huge conspiracy, and sees that various bodies have been dumped next to the railway track between Kakinada and Tada railway stations. He deduces that the bodies are being loaded using a goods train. Using this information, he sees that the bodies are loaded into the goods train at Arambakkam in Tamil Nadu. With the help of a police officer, Bobby and Sneha, he goes to Arambakkam after faking his death to mislead the people following him. In Arambakkam he catches Gopalam, who reveals the whole plot: someone has been taking dead bodies from Hindu families on the pretext that they are taking the bodies to Kashi, a holy place to cremate the dead, for money, and then dump them next to railroads. With further investigation, he finds out that his mom's body has been dumped like this too since his uncle sent his mom's body for Kashi. After an emotional breakdown, Agent finds out that the finger prints of the dead man in Venkatachalam actually has the same fingerprints of a murderer in Gujarat, and deduces that they are stealing the fingerprints of dead bodies as well to use it in crimes.
Agent and Bobby, after further investigation, find that the people behind this wanted to set them up so that they wouldn’t find the Bethaballi Amman's (a religious NGO) talismans on the dead bodies that were supposed to be removed before the bodies are disposed of. Meanwhile, Sneha and the police officer find that Ajay, Harsha, and Vasudha collaborated on a college project about religious crimes in India, and collect the material along with their photos. Looking at the photos, Agent realizes that the dead body of Vasudha had a tattoo from childhood, while Vasudha in a picture does not. It is revealed that Vasudha and her dad are running the whole operation. Ajay, Harsha and Agent came across the body with the talisman and hence Vasudha wanted to kill Ajay and Harsha and set up Agent so that nobody could trace the dead body to her.
After going to Bethabali Amman NGO's office to find it empty, Agent deduces that Vasudha went to Rajasthan and catches her and her father there. As soon as he hands them over to the police, Bobby and the police leave, while Agent Sai Srinivasa Athereya with Sneha continue to take up small cases.
- Naveen Polishetty as Agent Sai Srinivasa "Seenu" Athreya
- Shruti Sharma as Sneha
- Shredha Rajagopalan as Vasudha
- Appaji Ambarisha Darbha as Vasudha's father
- Suhas as Agent Bala Venkata Subramanya Swami "Bobby"
- Ramdutt as Sub Inspector Vamsi
- Krishneswara Rao as Gopalam
- Viswanath as Burger CI
- Chanakya Tejas as Sirish
- Kranthi Priyam as PWD officer (LIC agent)
- Suri K Chaplin
- Lavanya as Ajay's wife
- Mahija as Harsha's wife
- Sandeep Raj as Ajay
- Vinu Varma as Harsha
— Swaroop RSJ
The lead actor Naveen Polishetty explained that when he was looking for some good scripts, the director Swaroop contacted him on Facebook and told him the film's title and about the protagonist. When he narrated the whole story, Polishetty agreed to do the film if they got to work together on the final version. Swaroop agreed and they met at Hyderabad, where Polishetty's 4-years of experience as a writer helped him and they together worked on the script for eight months.
|1.||"Sherlock Holmes"||Anurag Kulkarni||4:06|
Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya received generally positive reviews from critics.
Film Companion gave it a positive review and called it the best comedy thriller of the decade. Times of India gave it 4 stars out of 5, praising Polishetty's performance and the execution. The Hans India gave the film 3.5 stars out of 5, praising the performances, music and screenplay while criticising the slow-paced narration in the first half. Deccan Chronicle similarly gave it 3.5 stars out of 5 and praised the performances, background score and the cinematography. The News Minute gave it 3 stars out of 5, and calling it a "textbook crime drama", praised the plot and cinematography but criticised some dubbing mismatches, Sharma's "undermined" character in the second half and editing towards the end.
Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya opened alongside several films at the box office, and had low but the highest collections among all other releases on its opening day. Following the positive word of mouth and due to low screening costs, the film became a commercial success in both India and USA.
Awards and nominations
|Date of Ceremony||Award||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref.|
|11 January 2020||Zee Cine Awards Telugu||Best Film - Special mention||Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya||Won|||
|Best Debut director||Swaroop||Won|
|Best Find of the year||Naveen Polishetty||Won|
|Best Screenplay||Swaroop, Naveen Polishetty||Nominated|||
- Chowdhary, Y. Sunita (24 September 2019). "What ails the Telugu film industry?". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
- "2019లో భారీ వసూళ్లు రాబట్టిన సినిమాలివే." Sakshi (in Telugu). 31 December 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
- "Jersey to Brochevarevarura: 7 best films of Telugu cinema in 2019". India Today. 29 December 2019. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
- "Best of Telugu cinema 2019: From 'Oh! Baby' to 'Mallesham', here are our picks". The News Minute. 29 December 2019. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
- Bansal, Shiv (7 September 2019). "VoxTalks With Swaroop RSJ : A Visionary Director Who Is Here To Change The Game". VoxSpace. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
- Chowdhary, Y. Sunita (17 June 2019). "Wise choices". The Hindu.
- "'Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya': Naveen Polishetty and Shruti Sharma wraps up shooting". Times of India.
- "Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya to release on June 21". Telangana Today.
- "Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya Censor Report". The Hans India.
- "Detective Sai Srinivasa on the prowl". The Hans India.
- "Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya Review: The Best Telugu Comedy Thriller Of This Decade". Film Companion.
- "Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya Review". Times of India.
- "Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya Movie Review & Rating". The Hans India.
- "Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya movie review: Meet the Telugu Sherlock Holmes!". Deccan Chronicle.
- "'Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya' review: A crisp textbook crime drama". The News Minute.
- "Raghavendra Rao praises the team of Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya". Times of India.
- "Allu Arjun and Varun Tej bowled over by 'Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya' and 'Brochevarevaru Ra'". Times of India.
- "Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya Movie Latest Box Office Report". The Hans India.
- "Critics' Choice Film Awards nominations out: Ranveer Singh, Vijay Sethupathi among nominees". The New Indian Express.
- "Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya Bags 3 Awards At Zee Cine Awards 2020". pyckers.
- "Naveen Polishetty's Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya to become a franchise, more details inside". In.com.
- Sidhardhan, Sanjith (20 April 2020). "Dhyan Sreenivasan in the remake of Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya". The Times of India.