Saravanan (Vimal) is helped by Sandhya (Nisha) when he needs some change to make a copy of his job application. When he fails to get the job, he blames and abuses her. Later, when he lands the job, he realizes his folly and seeks her forgiveness. The two start hanging out and one day they have sex. After this, Saravanan proposes to Sandhya and they marry against their parents' wishes. Very soon, problems crop up and the two get divorced to seek new partners. Do they get together again?A remake of the Telugu film 'Yemaindi Ee Vela', 'Ishtam' wants to be an urban romance that portrays the I-Me-Myself attitude of the youth of today, especially when it comes to relationships. Prem Nizar has plot points that have the potential to showcase this flawed aspect of our lives — casual and self-centred relationships, pre-marital sex, disdain for parents and their opinions and so on. Unfortunately, the debutant director isn't able to translate all these on to the screen.One of the main reasons for this lies in the casting as Vimal is totally miscast as the city-bred Saravanan. The actor, in trying to move out of his comfort zone of small-town characters, seems to have a misplaced belief that going urbane with his appearance will make him look the part, but fails as he is unable to capture the unassuming cool of a city guy. The English dialogues, especially, betray his rural roots. And like its hero, the film too flunks as it tries to be hip when it is actually taking potshots at those who are in with the times. While it might have been okay if it had showed only the characters as leading a totally decadent lifestyle, it actually attempts to generalize this notion and paints a grossly wrong picture of city-bred youngsters, especially IT professionals and girls who live in dormitories.Nazir establishes the relationship between Saravanan and Sandhya in a very laid-back manner that you never actually care for these characters. Also, he doesn't stage the scenes leading to their marital discord in a convincing fashion. Nisha, who also played the lead in the Telugu version, is every bit the Tamil film heroine of our times — easy on the eyes and competently glamourous but wholly unconvincing when it comes to performance and dialogue delivery.Despite all these disappointments, the film still manages to hold your attention chiefly because of the will-they, won't-they dramatic tension that the script provides. And of course, there is the film's biggest selling point, Santhanam, who plays Saravanan's friend and delivers with his typical one-liners. The actor clearly has hit a purple patch in his career that you laugh even when some of his lines aren't all that funny.