Ishtam is an apt example of conscious bad casting. Choosing Vimal to play a progressive urban upper middle class IIT grad deserves a glowing razzie. It is a fairly engaging plot though largely pedestrian and seen in numerous such movies before, the only slight difference being the consensual pre-marital sex bit.
It is a very familiar script about a loving couple who get divorced due to ego issues getting back together in the end. Indian cinema has seen better treated plots with greater depth. Here is one more that looks contemporary.
Saravanan is a jobless IIT-Madras grad who falls in love with Sandhya after some initial juvenile tiffs that leads to them having sex, falling in love and then getting married without their parents consent, in the same order. Things go awry due to unsavoury anti-feminist comments by Saravanan and both decide to part ways. They decide to get hooked immediately just to prove a point to each other and find a match each only to unite after realising their folly.
Vimal, the lazy guy he is, does not prepare one bit for the role. If he thinks being clean-shaven and wearing contemporary clothes can make him look modern, then he should go back to Koothupattarai and learn a thing or two about acting. His terrible English speaking skills, awful pronunciations and bad body language make him a total misfit. An IIT techie being jobless is Himalayan insult to the countrys most prestigious educational institution. Somebody sue the makers. From where do these directors land up? God save the film industry. And it is time they stopped computer commands like shift delete and download in regular conversations. Stale and juvenile. Nisha Agarwal looks and acts as awkward as any other Mumbai import, thanks to her unfamiliarity with the language. She hardly looks and dresses like the conservative Srirangam girl she plays. While she is ok in some parts, she is mostly wooden otherwise. Santhanams wise-cracks save the film to an extent, but sound repetitive. Pragathi as Saravanans mother makes some impression while Yuvarani as the feminist aunt of the heroine hardly makes an impact. Sandhyas hostel roommates are a bunch of caricatures and their ranting about boyfriends and sex is plain irritating.
While the Telugu version (Emaindi Ee Vela) was no classic, this seems like a poorer adaptation. The first half is largely about sex laced with humour which quite engages despite short falls. It is a relief to see the heroine not being too apologetic about her pre-marital sexual encounter. She is scared but is willing to experiment. The second half gets dreary, preachy and predictable.
Thaman is back in his usual form and gives absolutely lackluster music. Editing (Sai Suresh) and cinematography (Shekar Joseph) put in mention-worthy work.
Theres IPL for entertainment this weekend. Give it a skip.