Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya

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Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya
Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySwaroop RSJ
Screenplay bySwaroop RSJ
Naveen Polishetty
Story bySwaroop RSJ
Produced byRahul Yadav Nakka
StarringNaveen Polishetty
Shruti Sharma
CinematographySunny Kurapati
Edited byAmit Tripathi
Music byMark K Robin
Swadharm Entertainment
Release date
  • 21 June 2019 (2019-06-21)
Running time
143 minutes
Budget₹5 crore[1]
Box officeest. ₹20 crore[2]

Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya is a 2019 Indian Telugu-language comedy thriller film directed by Swaroop RSJ who co-wrote the film with Naveen Polishetty. Produced by Rahul Yadav Nakka, the film stars Polishetty as the title character alongside Shruti Sharma (her Telugu debut). 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..

Released theatrically on 21 June 2019, the film received positive reviews from the critics, and was successful at the box office.[3] The film won three awards at Zee Cine Awards Telugu.


Agent Sai Sreenivas Athreya 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 now becomes a detective in Nellore, setting up FBI (Fathima Bureau of Investigation). His assistant Sneha helps him in cases. Athreya is mostly involved in solving petty cases. One day his writer friend Sirish informs him of an unidentified body in Venkatachalam. When he goes there, the police arrest him on suspicion of murder. In jail that night, Athreya meets a man who acknowledges himself as Maruthi Rao and tells him the story of his daughter Divya, who went missing after going to Ongole. He gives him 3 phone numbers of three people who were the last who had contacted Divya before she was supposedly murdered. Ajay, Harsha, and Vasudha. Athreya 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. They follow them both all day, who go to a car rental agency, mortuary, and railroad. At the end of the day, Athreya recognises Divya somewhere along a highway, who doesn't speak Telugu, ignoring him. Upon checking at the police station at Nellore, they find that no Maruti Rao was transferred from the rural station in the last three days. Upon checking at the rural station, they find that the person who had called himself Maruti Rao is actually Gopalam. Further inquiry with the station in Ongole reveals that on the day that Divya was claimed to be dead, the body found was male. Later, at a Dhaba, Athreya discovers Ajay was brutally murdered and he is promptly arrested as the prime suspect.

Athreya gets out on bail due to CCTV Footage evidence that he was in Venkatachalam asking for Maruthi Rao, but he only has five more days to prove his innocence due to the overwhelming evidence against him. While Agent and Sneha investigate for clues at Harsha's house, someone tries to kill Athreya. He explains his theory to the police of the Nellore rural station, and it's discovered that Harsha wanted the details of Athreya after he saw him being arrested in Venkatachalam. Meanwhile, a father registers a complaint about his missing daughter, and the missing daughter is Vasudha who turns out to be dead. Athreya then catches Bobby who has been following Agent around, however, Bobby is a detective like him fed with false information that Athreya is the real murderer. Athreya 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. He also finds out that his mother's body has been dumped like this too since his uncle sent his mother's body for Kashi. After an emotional breakdown, Athreya finds out that the fingerprints of the dead man in Venkatachalam actually have the same fingerprints of a murderer in Gujarat, and deduces that they are stealing the fingerprints of dead bodies as well to use them in crimes.

Athreya and Bobby 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, Athreya realises that the dead body of Vasudha had a tattoo from childhood, while Vasudha in a picture does not. It is later revealed that Vasudha and her dad are running the whole operation. Ajay, Harsha, and Athreya 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, Athreya deduces that Vasudha went to Rajasthan and catches her and her father there and hands them over to the police. Athreya bids his goodbye to Bobby and he with Sneha visited crematory to pay their respects to Mahalakshmi.


  • Naveen Polishetty as Agent Sai Srinivasa "Seenu" Athreya
  • Shruti Sharma as Sneha
  • Shredha Rajagopalan as Vasudha
  • Appaji Ambarisha Darbha as Maruthi Rao, Vasudha's father
  • Suhas as Agent Bala Venkata Subramanya Swami "Bobby"
  • Ramdutt as Sub Inspector Vamsi
  • Krishneswara Rao as Gopalam
  • Viswanath Mandalika 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


I started writing the script in 2016 and I took close to 1 month to finish one line order of the film. Once completed, I took a month break to watch movies of similar genre. I watched close to 50 best movies in that genre and started to analyze the flow of these kinds of movies. I mean how they begin, how a conflict is created and how do they end. Those movies helped alot [sic] to understand how to write the screenplay for my movie.

— Swaroop RSJ[4]

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.[5]

The soundtrack was composed by Mark K Robin and the cinematography was handled by Sunny Kurapati. The film was produced by the Malli Raava fame Rahul Yadav Nakka.[6]


The film's only song is "Sherlock Holmes", composed by Mark K Robin. It has two versions: one sung by Anurag Kulkarni, and another by Harika Narayan.[7]


The film was released theatrically on 21 June 2019.[8][9]

Critical reception[edit]

Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya received positive reviews from the critics.[3] Film Companion's Karthik Keramulu called it the best comedy thriller of the decade.[10] Times of India critic Neehitha Nyayapati gave it 4 stars out of 5, praising Polishetty's performance and the execution.[11] A reviewer from The Hans India gave the film 4 stars out of 5, praising the performances, music and screenplay while criticising the slow-paced narration in the first half.[12] A Deccan Chronicle critic similarly gave it 4 stars out of 5, calling it a "Telugu Sherlock Holmes" while praising the performances, background score and the cinematography.[13] Krishna Sripada of The News Minute gave it 4 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.[14]

The film also received appreciation from several Telugu film celebrities like director K. Raghavendra Rao and actors Allu Arjun and Varun Tej.[15][16]

Box office[edit]

Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya performed well in the USA, grossing $188,427 in six days.[17]

Home media[edit]

The film was digitally released on the Over-the-top media service Amazon Prime Video.[18] It's satellite rights were sold to Gemini TV.[19]

Awards and nominations[edit]

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 [20]
Best Debut director Swaroop Won
Best Find of the year Naveen Polishetty Won
Best Screenplay Swaroop, Naveen Polishetty Nominated [21]
28 March 2020 Critics Choice Film Awards Best Film Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya Nominated [22][23]
Best Director Swaroop Nominated
Best Writing Swaroop, Naveen Polishetty Nominated
TBA SIIMA Awards Best Debutant Director – Telugu Swaroop Pending [24]
Best Actor – Telugu Naveen Polishetty Pending


Following the film's success, the makers announced the film's extension into a trilogy.[25] The film is being remade in Tamil with Santhanam and in Malayalam starring Dhyan Sreenivasan.[26]


  1. ^ Chowdhary, Y. Sunita (24 September 2019). "What ails the Telugu film industry?". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 23 June 2020. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  2. ^ "2019లో భారీ వసూళ్లు రాబట్టిన సినిమాలివే." Sakshi (in Telugu). 31 December 2019. Archived from the original on 3 September 2020. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Santhanam in 'Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya' remake?". The News Minute. 14 November 2019. Archived from the original on 22 July 2020. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  4. ^ Bansal, Shiv (7 September 2019). "VoxTalks With Swaroop RSJ : A Visionary Director Who Is Here To Change The Game". VoxSpace. Archived from the original on 12 August 2020. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  5. ^ Chowdhary, Y. Sunita (17 June 2019). "Wise choices". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 25 February 2021. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  6. ^ "'Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya': Naveen Polishetty and Shruti Sharma wraps up shooting". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 16 July 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Single by Mark K Robin". Apple Music. Archived from the original on 17 September 2021. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  8. ^ "Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya Censor Report". The Hans India. Archived from the original on 7 July 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Detective Sai Srinivasa on the prowl". The Hans India. Archived from the original on 7 July 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya Review: The Best Telugu Comedy Thriller Of This Decade". Film Companion. Archived from the original on 14 May 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya Review". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 7 July 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  12. ^ "Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya Movie Review & Rating". The Hans India. Archived from the original on 7 July 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  13. ^ "Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya movie review: Meet the Telugu Sherlock Holmes!". Deccan Chronicle. Archived from the original on 29 June 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  14. ^ "'Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya' review: A crisp textbook crime drama". The News Minute. Archived from the original on 7 July 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Raghavendra Rao praises the team of Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 6 July 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  16. ^ "Allu Arjun and Varun Tej bowled over by 'Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya' and 'Brochevarevaru Ra'". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 8 July 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  17. ^ "Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya Movie Latest Box Office Report". The Hans India. Archived from the original on 7 July 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  18. ^ R, Manoj Kumar (12 October 2019). "South Stream: Naveen Polishetty's Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 15 July 2020. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  19. ^ Vyas (23 November 2019). "Naveen Polishetty's double dhamaka this Sunday". The Hans India. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  20. ^ "Critics' Choice Film Awards nominations out: Ranveer Singh, Vijay Sethupathi among nominees". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 4 July 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  21. ^ "Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya Bags 3 Awards At Zee Cine Awards 2020". pyckers. Archived from the original on 14 October 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  22. ^ "Critics Choice Film Awards 2020: Complete nominations list". The Indian Express. 2 March 2020. Archived from the original on 9 February 2021. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  23. ^ "Critics' Choice Film Awards 2020: Complete winners list". The Indian Express. 28 March 2020. Archived from the original on 14 October 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  24. ^ "2019 Nomination List". SIIMA. Archived from the original on 28 August 2021. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  25. ^ "Naveen Polishetty starrer Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya will be a trilogy!". The Times of India. 2 August 2020. Archived from the original on 11 October 2020. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  26. ^ Sidhardhan, Sanjith (20 April 2020). "Dhyan Sreenivasan in the remake of Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 24 April 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2020.

External links[edit]