Nishikant Kamat was an Indian director, writer, and actor, who rose to fame with his Marathi directorial debut, Dombivali Fast
(2005). He went on to direct his first Bollywood movie, Mumbai Meri Jaan
(2008), based on the Mumbai bombings of 2006. The movie was critically acclaimed. Over the years, he rose to prominence in the entertainment industry. In August 2020, the actor and filmmaker passed away.
Nishikant was born and brought up in Mumbai and hails from a simple middle-class Maharashtrian family. Both his parents belonged to educational background; his father was a mathematician and taught at a private college, while his mother was a Sanskrit teacher. Having no inclination towards movies, Nishikant appeared for the hotel management exam and passed the test. He then completed his Hotel Management course from Goa, and it was in Goa that Nishikant became interested in theater.
Although Nishikant had serious relationships, he claimed to want to remain single for the rest of his life.
Before venturing into direction Nishikant first assisted an ad-filmmaker and later worked as an editor. He made his acting debut with the internationally acclaimed movie Hava Aney Dey (2004). The movie which was shot in the northern suburbs of Mumbai consisted of a mixed crew of Indian and French technicians. The movie premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2004 and won several international awards. In the same year, he wrote and acted in the successful Marathi movie Satchya Aat Gharaat. The movie was loosely based on an incident that occurred at Pune University`s campus in 2002; a student was raped by an imposter pretending to be a policeman.
The following year, Nishikant made his Marathi directorial debut with the critical and commercially acclaimed movie, Dombivali Fast
. The movie, which revolves around a common man`s fight against the corrupt system, opened to positive reviews and went on to become the highest grossing movie of the year 2005. Actor Sandeep Kulkarni
, who played the lead role of Madhav Apte, won the 2006 Star Screen Award for Best Actor, while Nishikant won the Best Director (Swarovski Trophy) at the 2006 Asian Festival of First Films. The movie also won the 2006 National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Marathi (Silver Lotus Award). The success of the movie prompted Nishikant to remake the movie in Tamil, with R. Madhavan
in the lead role. The Tamil remake of the movie was titled Evano Oruvan
. Released in 2007, the movie received good reviews at the box office.
After the success of the Tamil movie, Nishikant made his Bollywood directorial debut with the movie Mumbai Meri Jaan
(2008). The film, which is based on the Mumbai train bombings of 2006, stars R. Madhavan
, Irrfan Khan
, Paresh Rawal
, Soha Ali Khan
, and Kay Kay Menon
. The film was critically acclaimed and won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Movie. Nishikant was next seen as an actor in Prawaal Raman`s
thriller movie, 404
In 2011, Nishikant also directed the action thriller movie, Force
, starring John Abraham
, Vidyut Jamwal
, and Genelia D`Souza
. The film was a remake of the hit 2003 Tamil movie Kaakha Kaakha
, directed by Gautham Menon
. John Abraham`s performance was praised by the critics and it was another successful turnout for Nishikant at the box office. Almost a decade after his debut Marathi movie, in 2014, Nishikant directed his second Marathi movie Lai Bhaari
, which marked the Marathi cinema debut of the popular Bollywood star, Riteish Deshmukh
. With a total collection of INR 33.74 crore, the movie went on to become the highest grossing Marathi movie at the time of its release.
Following the path of success, Nishikant`s next Hindi movie, Drishyam
, which is a remake of Jeethu Joseph`s
Malayalam movie, titled Drishyam
as well, went on to be a huge hit at the box office. Starring Ajay Devgn
, Shriya Saran
, and Tabu
in the lead roles, the movie grossed INR 91.97 crore at the box office.
In 2016, Nishikant once again teamed up with John Abraham
for the action-thriller movie Rocky Handsome
. The movie with a simple plot yet engrossing action-drama received positive reviews at the box office with critic Subhash K. Jha writing, "It would have to be a toss-up between Shoojit Sircar`s
excellent political thriller Madras Cafe
and now Nishikant Kamat`s Rocky Handsome". His other release in 2016 includes Madaari
, which starred Irrfan Khan
. Nishikant Kamat passed away in August 2020.