Akhil and Surender Reddy’s Agent released in theaters today. Its fate is all but decided as it has opened to disastrous reviews and weak word of mouth. But whom to blame for the disaster result?
Firstly, Agent doesn’t pack any value with regard to the script. The dated story has nothing new to offer to new-age audience. One can wonder how the director thought of making a film with such a lackluster script.
Perhaps he banked on Akhil’s characterization. But this is again a huge risk. Akhil isn’t a star hero to pull off a film entirely on his characterization. The whacky characterization might sound good on paper, but presenting it on big screens is a highly volatile aspect. Like for instance, Vijay Deverakonda’s characterisation clicked big time in Arjun Reddy. This doesn’t happen quite often. It needed a miraculous result for Akhil to get it right in Agent, but that didn’t happen.
Even if Akhil’s characterisation somehow clicked against the odds, the backbone for films like these will be slick and exciting fight sequences. Even this goes awry for Agent. Immediately after a new fight scene starts, the audience start to feel when this misery will end. It is like making a fish curry with rotten fish as the main ingredient.
And as strange as it may sound, Surender Reddy sculpted this colossal dud till the very last minute as if he was rolling out a genuinely good product. The theatrical prints were sent to the USA at the neck of the moment. At one point, there were doubts if there would even be US premieres due to the delay, such was the last-minute confusion. This is a whole lot of trauma for the producer and the buyers.
Surender Reddy is a seasoned campaigner. One can only wonder how he set out to make a film with so many red flags. But again, inconsistency and indiscipline have been his traits from the start.
There are reports that the film costed Rs 80 crores. This is way over Akhil’s market assessment and marketing caps. Interestingly, the film was a 40-45 Crores product when it was launched. Surender Reddy continued his habit of shooting up his budgets beyond permissible limits at the expense of producer’s liabiltiies.
Despite being in the industry for close to two decades and working with several stars, Surender is yet to enter the star director league. The number of films he did during this period indicates he is yet to earn the trust of the producers and heroes. And with films like Agent, he is only moving further away from there.