Filmwallahs, scribes mourn film critic Nikhat Kazmi’s death

23 Jan,2012

By A Correspondent


“After people die, they become stars. Nikhat Kazmi just became four and a half”, a tweet by @NumbYaar as a tribute to Nikhat Kazmi aptly summed up feelings at her untimely death at the age of 53 on January 20, 2011. She was suffering from cancer.


“Was truly shocked to hear about the untimely death of nikhatkazmi…the TOI critic of several years…prayers and thoughts with her family,” tweeted Karan Johar  (@kjohar25).


“Tragic news. Extremely sad to know about the demise of Nikhat Kazmi, one of the most persistent film critics. Am sure wherever you are, it’ll be a 5 star rating, RIP. May God give strength to your loved ones,” tweeted Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar).


Ms Kazmi was the film critic at Times of India where she had been working for almost 25 years. According to media reports, she continued working till the very end. The last films she reviewed were Sadda Adda, Chaalis Chaurasi, Ghost and Blitz  (a Hollywood film). Ms Kazmi was always generous with her ratings, making no distinction between mainstream Bollywood and smaller independent cinema. And her generosity and grace were greatly appreciated by Bollywood.


“Nikhat Kazmi was generous! Having come to terms with mortality she looked for something good in every film she viewed,” tweeted director Mahesh Bhatt  (@MaheshNBhatt).


“Nikhat Kazmi was a great support for alternate cinema. Her reviews of Red Alert and Mee Sindhutai Sapkal, reaffirmed my faith in going global,” tweeted director Ananth Mahadevan (@ananthmahadevan19h).


Many youngsters also gave her credit for always encouraging them in her reviews.


“RIP Nikhat Kazmi. You enjoyed cinema and therefore encouraged us more than criticized us. We will miss you,” tweeted writer and director Milap Zaveri (@zmilap).


“The 1st ever review I read of Refugee, my 1st film, was by NikhatKazmi. She always pointed out the road to improvement to me. RIP ma’am,” tweeted Abhishek Bachchan, (@juniorbachchan), mere hours after her demise.


“Nikhat Kazmi ji the one person who has always encouraged me. Wrote so beautifully and one film critic I respected a lot! May her soul RIP 🙁 ,” tweeted Neil Nitin Mukesh  (@neilnmukesh).


Not only Bollywood, Ms Kazmi’s death shocked many of her colleagues in the media fraternity too.


Khalid Mohammed, film critic and filmmaker, said he wished he had known her better. “She was based in Delhi, while I worked in Mumbai. We would meet mostly at film festivals which required a group to cover the functions. I can’t say I knew her well, but I wished I had. I admire her perseverance, for she would review Indian as well as foreign language films,” he told MxM.


Trade analyst and fellow film critic Taran Adarsh too expressed his condolences via Twitter: “Deeply saddened by the news of Times of India movie critic NikhatKazmi’s demise. RIP.”


Parsa Venkateshwara Rao Jr, a senior journalist with DNA, had met Ms Kazmi once but she left quite an impression on him. Though he did not agree with her, he said liked her because: “Her heart was in the right place. She understood the importance of Hindi cinema and how it mirrored changing political and social winds of change. She was an anguished liberal,” he told MxM.


Apart from being a film critic, Ms Kazmi was also an author who had written three books, Ire in the Soul: Bollywood’s Angry Years, The Dream Merchants of Bollywood and Times Guide to Hollywood Blockbusters. She had also written two plays.


Whether people agreed with her critiques or not, there is no denying that her reviews in TOI will be missed. “RIP Nikhat Kazmi. A beautiful large theatre, with the coziest seat n all your favourite movies await you:) #respect” – Dia Mirza (@deespeak).


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