Agent 2023 Movie Review
Director : Surender Reddy
Cast: Akhil Akkineni, Mammootty, Dino Morea, Sakshi Vaidya, and Vikramjeet Virk
Music: Hiphop Tamizha
Cinematography: Rasool Ellore
Editor: Naveen Nooli
A spy with a mysterious past goes on a mission to uncover the truth about a dangerous terrorist organization.
Agent 2023 Movie Review:
The agent is ‘wild’. The lead character carries a certain ‘wildness’ within him. He’s just wild. W-/- L-D. I need you to register that he’s wild because, in Agent, the word ‘wild’ features some 37 times, ‘wildness’ a dozen times, and everybody including the hero’s mentor, girlfriend, and the villain calls him ‘wild saala’.
Now, whatever you picture this lead character to be like, Akhil Akkineni will surpass that with his portrayal of the vexingly unidimensional Ramakrishna a.k.a Ricky, who comes across as a man-child struggling to come out of childhood spy fantasies; everything he does has a dash of explosive energy that’s pushed just enough to make the whole affair very annoying.
An ethical hacker operating on his own, Ricky hacks the system of Mahadev (Mammootty), the cold-blooded Chief of RAW who is nicknamed ‘The Devil’. When reprimanded, Ricky says he did it to impress Mahadev and to get himself recruited as a RAW agent since the agency rejected him thrice — those two interviewers who rejected him might be the only smart people in this universe.
After some dilly-dallying, Mahadev caves in and sends him on a mission to stop evil mastermind The God (Dino Morea), an ex-RAW agent turned- rogue and the current head of a criminal syndicate. What’s interesting is how the monikers of Mahadev and God juxtaposes the roles played by God and Devil.
Mahadev is so stone-cold that he wouldn’t hesitate to sacrifice a few agents for the sake of the mission, but he does it for ‘the greater good’ Also, unlike in the Bible, it is the God here who has turned against his ‘father’, the Devil. But none of these ideas amounts to anything as these characters become the typical spy movie mentor/villain.
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Director Surender Reddy takes time to establish the instinct-driven hyper-active quality of Ricky and his ‘wildness’ which seems to be the film’s only calling card — but these scenes are hard to sit through. At one point, Ricky just kills a random man in a bar to prove himself, facing no consequences for it.
Unable to find a novel way to move from one plot point to another, and for an unimpressive pay-off later, Surender brings in a love interest for Ricky in the form of Vidya (Sakshi Vaidya), a budding pilot. And to make Ricky a savior, a spoilt son of a minister is brought into the mix; he lusts after her, her dreams get shattered, and Ricky uses his hacking skills and shows the minister live footage of the pervert son having sex in a hotel room to scare him.
But this is a film that constantly reminds you not to take it seriously. Firstly, this isn’t for those who would squirm at ample cinematic liberties taken to haul a hero through a barrage of oncoming bullets without a scratch — even the Indian army in Kashmir and the local police are unable to shoot straight at a 20-something man learned his trade from watching too many spy films.
Secondly, except when told specifically, we never know where most of the film takes place, and you tire of the generic locations, like the spy movie interiors with monitors displaying nonsense.
Surender might have wanted the film to feel ‘unpredictable,’ as mentioned a thousand times in the film, but this is a predictable screenplay with jarring tonal shifts, unfathomable song placements, and haphazardly put-together ‘mass moments’ Even the reveals it hides so painstakingly fail to redeem the screenplay.
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The staging and writing of scenes also make it hard to convey the Agents’ feeble emotional beats. At one point, we dive into a short flashback for Ricky that tells us why he wanted to become a spy. Even though this isn’t a novel idea, it’s the only thing that resembles a soul in this film, and it works partially because it brings some coherence to the proceedings.
It’s also time for filmmakers to bid adieu to the Gatling gun (Rest in peace, Ml 34 Minigun). For a second, it was alarming to see Akhil bring out two Gatling guns at the same time; thankfully, he uses them one after the other. But even with all the gunfire, the action sequences turn out to be mirthless.
Verdict: Agent 2023 Movie Review
For all the rich production value it boasts, and with actors like Akhil Akkineni whose efforts are visible, and veteran Mammootty, Agent turns out to be a snooze-fest with hardly anything to take away. Not so wild.