Agent Kannayiram Review: The police thriller Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya, starring Naveen Polishetty, was a massive hit at the box office. The movie was one of the best detective comedies and dramas in the Telugu language. Swaroop directed it. Agent Kannayiram, a Tamil version of the film with comedian Santhanam in the lead part, was made. Unfortunately, the Tamil version didn’t do well at the box office and was a big disappointment. After being shown in theaters, the movie is now available on SunNXT.
Kannayiram is the main character of the story. He was born outside of marriage. He grows up and becomes a junior detective who solves minor crimes in the area. Kannayiram can’t escape the painful thoughts of a hard time with his mother. Soon, he gets involved in a big case that involves his dead mother. The movie examines how people’s faiths, beliefs, and myths can be used to commit crimes.
“I am sorry, I have nothing good to say about this, neither the writing nor the subject.” I’m afraid I must say the same thing about this movie, a remake of the Telugu hit Agent Sai Srinivasa Atherya. I haven’t seen the original Telugu movie, so I don’t know what was so great about it that they chose to remake it. The Hindu review said, “Director Swaroop tells a serious story about crime, but he does it funnily.” It’s not simple to deal with. The detective might look like he’s goofing around, but he is pretty good at problem-solving. He finds himself in the center of an all-consuming murky scenario.”
Perhaps, Agent Sai Srinivasa Atherya relied on the “murky” situations in which the small-time detective (played by Naveen Polishetty) found himself. Perhaps, the goal of the Telugu movie was to make the proceedings enjoyable. Having seen Naveen Polishetty in a couple of films, Agent Sai Srinivasa Atherya have tapped into his strengths as an actor with a great sense of “comedy acting.” Surprisingly, despite featuring a comedian-turned-hero in Santhanam, the inverse happens in the remake.
The supposedly hilarious situations fall flat, and the seemingly serious portions are remarkably funny. The Hindu review said, “Director Swaroop tells a serious story about crime, but he does it funnily.” It’s not simple to deal with. The detective might look like he’s goofing around, but he’s pretty good at problem-solving. He finds himself in the center of an all-consuming murky scenario.”
The writing (additional screenplay by Manoj Beedha and Ramesh Marabu) is terrifyingly bad. Dialogues sound like news tickers conveying the essence of context but hardly any depth. The performances almost always come from cues; the sad look, the surprised look, the “shocking” look, the turning-away-the-face look, the wannabe cool look. The camera that turns its gaze when the heroine — who cannot get one line right in Tamil — gets to talk. Her name is Aadhirai. Santhanam plays Kannayiram, which translates to someone who has a thousand eyes. But there is a big blind spot in the screenplay.
The core of Agent Kannayiram is substantial. Think about it, a man who is traumatized by memories of his dead mother and who couldn’t even get to say a final goodbye to her gets personally and emotionally attached to a case of unclaimed dead bodies. By trying to solve the mystery, it is as if he gets some relief and peace with his inner self. This would have been a different film with a competent filmmaker. Another filmmaker might have focused on this very personal story of a mother-son. Unfortunately, Agent Kannayiram is an exasperating watch lacking a soul, fittingly for a film about dead bodies and lonely deaths.