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ISM – Movie Review

First things first, I’m no big fan of Puri Jagannadh’s work (the much-hyped Pokiri included). A couple of films were watchable, sure, but that’s all really. ISM made enough noise in the fan circles of both Puri and Kalyanram but everyone else wasn’t really looking forward to the film. Honestly, I wanted to find out what ism the film was about and that made me book my ticket.


Inspired by Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and a third guy with similar bio (neither do I remember his name nor am I abreast with news at any point in my life), ISM is a film you expect from two people among everyone else: Puri and RGV. That RGV’s treatment of the same subject would have been worlds apart from how Puri handled it is a different thing altogether. 😀

As I sat through the first half of the film, the one thing that pissed me off is a near-complete sidetracking of the main plot! Although in the pre-intermission sequences it becomes clear why the main track is not touched until then, and it does make sense, you cannot help but wish there were small, subtle breadcrumbs left along the way. The fact that the heroine Aditi Arya just cannot act adds to the troubles in the first half.

Post intermission, a sense of seriousness makes its way into the film. This is where the film should deliver, for this is precisely the point of the film, it’s blood and heart. And, happy to report, it doesn’t disappoint. It might not bowl you over, but it is a welcome improvement from the first half. Needless to say, there is a lengthy, profanity-studded monologue which cries to be delivered by Kalyan Ram, and he does it better than anything else he did in the film – no surprises there.

Kalyan Ram seems to have loosened up quite a bit and it shows in how easy he looks on the eyes. Oh, his stylists deserve a mention too! Jagapathi Babu does his part effortlessly, but I wish there was more to his part than a rich dude, don really, who loves his daughter. He is said to be quite menacing, as you’d expect, but the menace hardly shows. For the most part, he looks quite posh, and honestly, with all the talking he does, I would dismiss him to be an all-fart-no-shit villain. The effort in sketching his character that way was probably to tell us villains are not all that bad, but again, didn’t feel convincing.

It may lack sufficient punch, but there is enough in the second half to warrant a viewing. With the look Kalyan Ram sported in the film, I’d want to see him in a love story next. For ISM though, I’m going with 3/5.

Good time, no alcohol required! 😛 😉

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