REVIEW: Agent Kannayiram – A crude replica with little originality

When it comes to remaking anything extremely innovative and trendsetting, the ideal way to view the remake is to completely disregard the original and approach it as a brand-new movie. I was required to abide by these rules because I was a critic, but the Tamil translation is so horribly done that you can’t help but feel bad for the original.

The narrative of Agent Kannayiram is excellent, the crime is unique and remarkably interesting, and it has all the makings of a gripping thriller. This plot has already worked well with an experimental dark comedic genre but at the same time has the potential to be a conventional investigative crime thriller. Agent Kannayiram is a failed attempt that falls somewhere in the middle of the two. Santhanam is a perfect fit for the lead role, so there is no question about that decision. The issue is that he sticks to his standard one-liners, which never sticks with the script. The majority of Santhanam’s counter-dialogue or that of “Vijay TV Pugazh,” who plays his assistant, has no connection with the tone of the movie.

Only the post-intermission scenes managed to keep the audience interested for a while, and that’s only because the plot moved quickly, and all the mysteries were solved one after the other. However, Santhanam’s instincts quickly discloses the biggest mystery, and his performance—which was supposed to be at its peak at this point—is so lacklustre that it fails to capture the gravity of the crime. The comedy that didn’t work and the emotions that did not matter make up the first half of the film. The movie’s editing and speech are its worst flaws. The audience feels disjointed because of the irregular cuts, and the out-of-sync dialogue frequently appears to be filler in the dubbing rather than being the genuine dialogue.

Santhanam, who plays the lead role, performs admirably in few emotive scenes but falls flat in crucial scenes. The fantastic character design of the title character, who is innocent, funny, quirky, and most of the time stupid, is what distinguishes the original movie and makes it so special. This element is entirely absent in the Tamil version, which makes the film less engaging. The concept of Riya Suman’s character Athirai being an Anglo Indian is acceptable, but the conversation and delivery are a mess. Vijay TV Pugazh didn’t contribute much because his jokes didn’t land, and the rest of the cast mostly fulfilled their assigned duties. Yuvan’s music is significantly out of his signature sound in a good way, is upbeat and makes every effort to improve the dull screenplay.

Inability to reproduce such an intriguing and distinctive detective in Agent Kannayiram can be attributed to either Santhanam’s acting or how the filmmaker Manoj Bheeda has conceived the title character.