Director: Prem Nisar
Cast: Vimal, Nisha Agarwal, Anoop, Parvathi, Santhanam, Pragathi
In the recent past quite a few films have either been remade or dubbed from Telugu to Tamil. The latest in the list of remakes is 'Ishtam', the rehash of the Telugu flick 'Emayindhi Ee Vela'. The plot is centered on a young urban married couple, who split ways due to petty misunderstandings, and hasty decisions.
For Vimal playing Saravanan the urban professional, it is a break from his usual small-town guy roles. But it’s a clear case of miscasting, the actor most unsuitable for it. His stereotyped mannerisms, a bad diction and wrong body language make the character look a totally ‘local’ down market Kalavani, than the cool urban dude he was supposed to be.
For the petite, pretty Nisha Agarwal (sister of Kajal Agarwal), Sandhya is a reprisal of the role she had played in the Telugu version.
The film has an opening, different and interesting. Saravanan and Sandhya (a divorced couple) opt for a shot at a second marriage. They are in a restaurant, having a tete-a-tete with their potential life partners. The narration goes into a flashback mode, and we get to know of how the duo met, loved, married and parted ways. The film shifts stand between the modern and progressive and the traditional and the conservative. It is bold at places. Like the scene where Saravanan dating Sandhya suggests pre-marital sex, and Sandhya after the initial hesitation consents and comes to his pad.
If premarital sex is treated in a cool matter-of-fact way, there are the dialogues like ‘second hand’, and ‘used goods’, that would come later after the duo part ways. The petty fight that snowballs into a major ego-issue is handled well.
The chemistry between the lead pair is zilch. It’s just one style of slighting of the interiors almost throughout the film. Whether it’s of the couples home, Saravanan’s bachelor pad, or the women’s hostel where Sandhya stayed. Mild and pleasant initially, it gives a dull monotonous feel after a point.
The depiction of the girls in the hostel as bird brained loose characters is a stereotyped take. Urban marriages breaking up for minor reasons, and of how it’s an institution to be nurtured and worked on, is the message the film conveys. But it’s a boring journey, the interesting moments are very few and far between.