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Agent Kannayiram movie review: Even Santhanam's sincere attempt can't save this baffling crime thriller

Santhanam is sincere in whatever he does, but doesn't serve the purpose. The movie, despite having an interesting score by Yuvan, ends up as a dull fare 

1.5/5rating
Agent Kannayiram movie review: Even Santhanam's sincere attempt can't save this baffling crime thriller

Santhanam and Riya Suman in Agent Kannayiram

  • Thinkal Menon

Last Updated: 12.35 PM, Nov 25, 2022

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Story: A wannabe detective, who has enough reasons to lead a dejected life, comes across an intriguing incident which leads him to a dreaded gang who are involved in a terrifying crime. He finds that his deceased mother has a connection with the gang indirectly. With the help of a journalist, he sets out to trace the whereabouts of the gang and decides to expose them. But will he be able to do it considering his lack of clout?  

Review: Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya, the Telugu crime thriller which was released in 2019, is one of the engaging films to have come out in the genre in recent times. An announcement on the film being remade into Tamil with Santhanam in the lead raised a few eyebrows, though the actor is making sincere attempts to headline non-comedy movies. 

However, the Tamil version, titled Agent Kannayiram, has the actor coming up with a performance which reminds the audience about some of his earlier portrayals. He has indeed tried to take a detour from his usual antics, but blame it on the weak screenplay which is equally confusing, the talented comedian resorts to his tried-and-tested one-liners to evoke laughter in a few scenes.

Santhanam in a still from the film
Santhanam in a still from the film

The story begins with Kannayiram (Santhanam), an optimistic wannabe detective, who aspires to take up sensational cases to prove his merit. Despite strongly believing that he isn't receiving the recognition he deserves, what keeps him going is his eye for detailing.

However, what makes him upset often is the regret that holds him back owing to the misunderstanding he had with his mother. One day, he happens to come across a murder which leads him to a shocking revelation that involves a gang that is into a spine-chilling scam. He starts tracing the roots of the dreaded gang with the help of Athira (Riya Suman), an independent journalist.

In the original Telugu version, the story takes some time to take off, but there is no looking back once the plot explores various possibilities, and keeps the viewers hooked. However, the makers of the remake version have tweaked way too much in such a way that the movie ends up as a dark humour that deals with a crime.

There has been ample scope to provide entertaining sequences with the change in presentation, thanks to the presence of artists like Santhanam, Munishkanth and Pugazh. But none of their expertise has been exploited, and what we come across is a hotchpotch of sequences that leave you numb.    

Pugazh, Santhanam and Riya Suman in a still from the film
Pugazh, Santhanam and Riya Suman in a still from the film

A handful of one-liners work in the first half, and you can't stop feeling sad for Santhanam for his decision to take up a movie that deals with a dark subject. We miss the actor's enthusiasm and dialogue delivery which used to bring the house down several years ago. 

Director Manoj Beedha has tried to tread a fine line between crime and humour, but it hardly works. One of the subplots of the film is a mother-son relationship, but we aren't able to empathize with the protagonist and his emotions. A supposedly frightening gang is into an unheard scam that involves dead bodies, but it doesn't leave any impact. 

Riya Suman's character isn't that of a run-of-the-mill female lead. In fact, she plays a vital role in the story, and her sincerity is evident, but her character isn't fleshed out. Santhanam is sincere in whatever he does, but none of the attempts serve the purpose. The movie, despite having an experimental, yet interesting score by Yuvan Shankar Raja, ends up as dull fare.

The likes of Guru Somasundaram and Redin Kingsley are wasted, while Indhumathi Manikandan is aptly cast in the role of a doting mother. 

Verdict: A Santhanam-starrer usually is loaded with minimum entertaining elements irrespective of its total outcome. But this time, he tests patience, thanks to his awful decision to remake an engaging movie and allowing the director to tweak it unnecessarily.

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