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Movie review - Istam - by Gudipoodi Srihari
(A likeable film)
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Reviewer: Gudipoodi Srihari
Banner: Usha Kiran Movies
Cast: Charan, Sreya, Poonam Dhillon, Chandra Mohan, Sarath Babu, Naveen, Sravan, Quay yam Ali, Kiran, Dharmendra, Srinivasa Reddy, Sudha, Deepti, Sirisha, Delhi Rajeswari and Saraswatamma
Lyrics: Bhuvanachandra, Seetharama Sastry, Ravi Kiran and Varikuppala Yadagiri
Cinematography: V Srinivas Reddy
Music: DG Gopinath (debut)
Editing: Nandamuri Hari
Story, screenplay and direction: Vikram & Raj Kumar (debut)
Producers: Ch. Ramoji Rao

Theatrical Release Date: 30th December 2001

Gudipoodi Srihari Review

A novel love story where the mother of the hero declares her son not fit to marry the girl he loves because she feels he's irresponsible and might ruin the girl's life. The film has newcomers Kartik (Charan) and Neha (Sneha) in the lead roles and Poonam Dhillion playing the mother's role.

Kartik finds great pleasure in ragging Neha in the college. She suffers silently. One day she goes to the rescue of Lakshmi (Poonam Dhillon), who faints while shopping. The incident brings the two close and Lakshmi starts treating Neha like her own child. Neha keeps complaining about Kartik known in college as Billa- to Lakshmi, not knowing that she's his mother.

Now that Neha is so dear to Lakshmi and her husband Chakaravarti (Sharatbabu), Neha's father Subramanyam (Chandramohan) seeks his daughter's matrimonial alliance with their son. By then Kartik and Neha fall in love. Thus when everything looks perfectly set for their marriage, Lakshmi objects. "I am her mother too. I prefer her to marry a good boy, but not my vagabond and irresponsible son," she declares. The proposal is dropped for the time being.

How this issue is resolved forms the rest of the drama, loaded with sentiment, incorporating scenes with Charan revealing the other side his personality as a man who can tide over any problem with ease and patience.

Sreya looks innocent and pleasing, yet a wee bit mischievous - an impressive debut. Charan, though ordinary looking, scores with good performance. Poonam Dhillon, playing Lakshmi dominates the film. She invests her experience in portraying the role impressively. Both Sreya nad Poonam steal the scenes whenever they are together. Chandramohan and Shartbabu make a good team in their roles.

But the scenes showing Chandramaohan's weakness for alcohol are farfetched. Though the dramatic tempo has many ups and downs, the film turns out to be an enjoyable exercise, with refreshing music score by Gopinath. Incidentally, the film's last parts resemble the final scene of Jaabili, also released this week. This may one reason why Jaabili was released a day ahead of Ishtam.

courtesy: The Hindu

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