For this week quota of Santhanam in Tamil films, here comes Ishtam directed by Prem Nizar with Vimal and Nisha Agarwal in lead roles. Ishtam is a remake of the Telugu film Yemaindi Ee Vela and was publicized as a flick which will feature its hero Vimal in non-rural get up for the first time in his career. And Ishtam also marks its specialty for Kajal Agarwal’s sister Nisha Agarwal’s debut in Tamil.
Ishtam is a take on contemporary fast-track life of urban professionals and their value systems. Marriage as an institution appears to have lost its charm with today’s generation whose edginess leads them into hasty decisions and hastier regrets. Prem Nizar attempts to convey this which could have worked wonders at turnstiles had he been prudent enough to package the contents in a more appealing fashion.
The biggest drawback of the film is Vimal who is miscast in the role of an urban techie. The actor’s intentions to get out from his comfort zone of rural youth to savvy gentleman of city are understandable but unfortunately he does not score in this endeavor. He struggles with English diction and fails miserably in portraying the role of a city-bred techie. This works majorly against the film.
As for Nisha Agarwal, she fills in her role well, looks good and also delivers what is expected out of her. Anoop Kumar of Chikku Bukku fame is effective and other supporting cast members that include Pragathi, Yuvarani, Parvathi Nirban are all adequate in their performance.
Relief comes in the form of Santhanam who tries to buoy the sagging spirits of the audience but this is definitely not the best of the talented comedian. The biggest and perhaps the towering highlight of the film is Thaman’s music. Yen mela indru and dhinakku dhina are the pick of the album. And Thaman’s RR also is a significant contribution to Ishtam. Other technical aspects are just about satisfactory.
Lagging screenplay, meandering script and incessant dialogues make Ishtam a tedious affair. A generalized opinion about youth living in hostels in cities and especially IT professionals in a wrong shade does not appear good. The scene that is pivotal to the break-up of the lead pair should have been done in a more powerful manner to drive home the point. But it is not so.
The central concept demonstrating the flawed lifestyle of current youth with their misplaced value systems offers enough scope and fodder for an immersive experience but unfortunately Prem Nizar has not used it effectively.
Verdict: An unexciting fare