Director Nishikanth Kamath plays mind games in '404'


Mumbai, May 9 (IANS) Some can act as well as direct and Nishikant Kamath seems to be one of them. His focus is on directing movies, but he doesn't mind taking up acting assignments, especially after doing a pivotal role in Prawal Raman's psychological thriller "404".

"Prawal is my friend and he wanted me to play a role in this film. I was okay initially because I thought it will be a small role but then just six months before the film had to start, he told me about this role, which was quite pivotal to the story," Kamath, who will be seen as a professor of psychiatry in Prawal's film, told IANS.

Raman's "404", releasing May 20, is set in a medical institution. It is an intriguing story about a professor, played by Kamath, who denies the paranormal and believes only in science, and a bright young student (Rajvvir Aroraa) who battles with his conflict of illusion and reality.

"First, I went on the backfoot because I'm not a trained actor. I thought I won't be able to do it, but Prawal convinced me a couple of times, so finally said yes," added the director of "Mumbai Meri Jaan" and "Dombivli Fast".

Mind you, this is not his acting debut, the director acted in two films, but both were not accessible to audiences. One was a French production "Hawa Aane De" that did not release in India, and the other was Marathi movie "Saatchya Aat Gharat."

"I have acted before and it's more like in phases for me. My focus is direction, but if something interesting comes my way, I might just take it up. I like to take one day at a time, so haven't really planned anything on this front," said Kamath.

How difficult was it for him to switch off the director in him and just be an actor on the sets?

"It was very difficult, but I know as a director, after a point I can't take suggestions because I know my jobs. One or two suggestions here and there, I'm absolutely fine with, but if someone is interfering too much, I wont like it. So I know that feeling, hence I did not do that. I just went and did my job, which was acting," said Kamath.

"Fifteen days before the shoot I had thought that I won't think about even a D of direction. I had to condition myself because my instinct is that of a director. So I had to forget all that and just concentrate on my character," he added.

This is Raman's fifth directorial venture after "Gayab", "Darna Mana Hai", "Darna Zaroori Hai" and "Zabardast". When it came to finalise the climax of "404", Kamath couldn't stop himself from making suggestions.

"We had a long discussion about two scenes in the climax of the film. I felt it can be trimmed. I suggested that and he kind of seconded them and re-edited them," said Kamath.