Ishtam (2012)

Director: Prem Nizar
Casts: Vimal, Nisha Aggarwal, Santhanam
Music: Thaman
Language: Tamil
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Ishtam, a remake of Telugu super hit film ‘Yemaindi Ee Vela’ have emerged a good set of pre talks as the music album went to become a chartbuster. The anticipation was also raised with Kajal Agarwal’s sister Nisha making her debut in Tamil and the image makeover of Vimal from a village look to a stylistic urban youth. On top of all this, the comically edited trailer flexed the strength of Santhanam’s witty one liners. So does Ishtam lives up to its expectations?

Firstly, it is not wrong to remake a successful movie from other language but sometimes certain themes are sensitive and have a ‘hit or miss’ label sticking to it. Ishtam is such. The film starts off in a urban setting where Saravanan (Vimal) is seeking to get married with a bride arranged by his parents and on the other end Sandhya (Nisha) also gets engaged with a groom arranged by her parents. They narrate their story of their first marriage to their fianc├ęs and it happens to be the story of Nisha and Saravanan. Even though their introduction is not so smooth, they soon become good friends and at one point of time, they have pre-marital sex. Saravanan proposes to Nisha the next morning and they get married against their parents’ will. 

However, things start to get rough after that.
The story is common but what could have been different are the issues which could have been covered. Instead, the director portrays urban youth society as people with loose morals and focuses too much on the titillating factors in love which looks vulgar at times. The screenplay also looks quite inconsistent.

However the dialogues shared by Vimal and Nisha are quite interesting and shows the youth couples’ ego and male chauvinism problem realistically. But it is a pity that the film crosses its line between reality and crudity at many parts. The second half also drags a little and the reason for the divorce is too small to be convincing.

Vimal does a good job but is English diction has to be improved as some of his dialogue delivery looks funny at parts. However, he has to be praised for his efforts. Nisha does not look like a debutant at many parts and excels with her given role. Last but not the least, Santhanam’s comical punches and acts are nicely executed. 
The combination between him and Santhanam are enjoyable. Without his presence, Ishtam might find itself hard to sustain.

However Ishtam has its bright parts thanks to the technical team. Shekar Joseph’s cinematography gives a bright and cool look to the romantic comedy. Undoubtedly, Thaman’s music is one of the biggest strength of Ishtam. “Dinnaku Dhina” and “Aaruyire” rings in the ears even after the film. The BGM of the film is also a big contributor to the engaging factor of Ishtam.

Verdict: In overall Ishtam does not entertain fully but could be watched for its musical value.

Rating: 1.5/5


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