At one point in the film, Agent Sai Sreenivasa Athreya is locked up in a police cell, and they give him food. As he eats it, he gleefully asks the policemen, ” Saar, Venkata Ramana nunchi full meals theppiyandi Saar”, which translates to “Sir, order full meals from Venkata Ramana”. Now, this is a minimal dialogue that has no impact on the proceedings of the screenplay. But it is pretty special because Venkata Ramana is a very popular restaurant in Nellore, where the film is set. So Agent Athreya, being from Nellore, knows the restaurant and like any other guy from Nellore who needs some good food, Venkata Ramana strikes his hungry mind(stomach, actually). This is one of the basics of writing, which 99% of films lack these days. And this is where Agent Sai Sreenivasa Athreya does impeccably well.
Nellore is not just a place where the film is set. Instead it is a character by itself. Had our quirky Agent had his FBI(Fathima Bureau of Investigation) set up in Hyderabad or Mumbai or Pune, this story wouldn’t have happened in his life. So on that front, writer Swaroop RSJ uses the landscape correctly to take the story forward. The story takes place in Kavali, Ongole, Venkatapuram, and some other sites which enhance the naturalistic feel of the movie.
See, the point I’m trying to convey is, in any other film, the location adds nothing to the story nor the proceedings. The characters could have been anywhere, and it all would have remained the same. Remove Agent from Nellore in the universe this film is set in; this movie wouldn’t exist. Simple!
After viewing, you’ll understand why the location is critical to the story. These are things which are often overlooked, but the magic lies right there. Kudos to the writer on this!
For a mystery movie, the number of characters is fair. Obviously, the most well-written character is the title character, Agent Sai Sreenivas Athreya. There are specific traits to the character, and these traits being traits are there throughout the film. Now, this is not a speciality when it comes to writing a character, it’s basic, yet most of the writers while writing the protagonist forget he is human. While it appears to be inconsistent, I strongly believe it’s because of the sheer laziness of our writers. But here, Agent is a completely human and the writer knows it. We get know him in bits and pieces, right from what puli bongralu he likes to where the name FBI originated from. Let me repeat this and excuse me if it’s repeating; the writing is brilliant. And repeat myself because I want people to praise writers and realize that writing is what makes or breaks a film.
I believe, talking minimally about the actor and more about the character is an achievement for the actor who played that character. And the Agent is brilliant, on all fronts. I felt the character was inconsistent in the beginning, but that is his character! At times when stars foreshadow everything, Agent, despite being the title character, allows other characters to breathe in. There is another excellent character, Agent Hassan(I’m not sure if I’m spelling it right, sorry!), whom I wanted more of. His character deserves a movie of his own, maybe a spin-off with Agent Athreya in a cameo, take my money! And there’s Sneha, again a very written female character and a burger-eating-police guy! Watching Agent Sai Sreenivasa Athreya is like reading a good comic book, light-hearted, refreshing and keeps you hooked.
Its a small film about a small-time detective with huge brains and an even bigger heart.
Want to know more about Sherlock Holmes of Nellore!
If you have missed watching it on the big screen just like me. This is the time to redeem!