Off late, Telugu cinema is coming across new age makers experimenting in fresh genres. Though detective thrillers aren’t new for us, ASSA is publicized as a crime thriller treated on new lines by Naveen Polishetty and Swaroop RSJ. Let us see, how engaging is this?
Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya Story Review: Agent Sai (Naveen Polishetty) and Assistant (Shruti Sharma) take up a challenging case on series of unidentified dead bodies found on AP, Tamil Nadu border railway line. In the process of cracking the mystery, Sai himself becomes the prime suspect for police. How Sai and his team solved this religious crime is the rest?
Investigative thrillers with crime and mystery as central elements are rare find outs in on Indian screen. Although we have veteran Vamsy who made a profuse mark in this genre, after a long time ASSA is here with a bit of novelty in thought. What went really wrong with director Swaroop is he took too long of time in introducing us to the actual crime plot wasting time in protagonist’s character build-up, beating round the bush for entire first and half. By the time we actually wonder and think on central crime connecting the dotted lines, we are left exhausted. Nevertheless, Swaroop succeeded in delivering the right impact in last 30 minutes. Definitely writing and execution could have been better in beginning parts. Light vein humors helped in narration.
Sunny Kurapati’s dim camera work enhanced the thriller mood while editing by Amit Tripathi acceptably has no big jerks. Mark K Robin’s background score is commendable. Production values of Swadharm are worth acceptable.
Onto performances, Naveen easily slipped into the character. His dialogue delivery and diction filled with comic punches at regular intervals will be cheered. His way of shouldering the character will help him go forward in career. Shruti Sharma and other supporting cast did their part.
Overstretched 2nd Half
Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya is well promoted as adept investigative thriller. Of course, the film ran into investigative mode right from mid first half but never got on acceleration in unfolding the mystery till last hour. May it be drama or characterizations weaved around haven’t got the depth to immerse audience in thrilling mood.
Movie begins introducing us to Naveen and Shruti Sharma searching for a breakthrough case. Then they come across a helpless father asking for justice on his daughter’s rape, murder. As Naveen gets deep chasing three people, unknowingly he is framed as prime suspect. First half though has humor here and there, it hasn’t got the meat and necessary hints to keep us on continuous guess to push you on edge of seat. So called twists are also not bang on.
Second half begins with Naveen coming out on bail to unfurl the chase layer by layer with the help of police. Gopalam character added some value providing Naveen a link to close the case. Here comes the real twist when religious crime and a project report on the same by three students elevated as root cause for all murders. With a noteworthy point on hand, presence of artists with stature could have saved ASSA big time.
All in all, ASSA is a half baked attempt with novel crime core. Racy screenplay and better artists in right roles is the least asked for. If you are a hardcore lover of crime investigative thrillers, give it a try else leave it. CJ goes with 2.5 ratings and Box Office verdict will be nothing surprising.