a7fecc5987848da461f3f31d5fe6fbf7-2HYDERABAD BLUES 2. Director: Nagesh Kukunoor. Players: Nagesh Kukunoor, Jyoti Dogra, Elahi Hiptoola, Vikram Inamdar, Tisca Chopra. DVD release. www.hyderabadblues2.com

A good movie doesn’t always have to be special effects and drama. Sometimes all it takes is a look at daily life served up with a sprinkling of humor. Defying the stereotypical notion that sequels don’t match up to their original, Hyderabad Blues 2 not only continues in the storyline of the original, but also keeps up the interest and humor.

The prequel began with a desi professional returning home to find a soulmate in that all-too-brief arranged meeting. Our hero, Varun Naidu (Nagesh Kukunoor), with boy-next-door looks and Hyderabadi accent, met (and liked) Ashwini (Jyoti Dogra), a doctor who harbored no interest whatsoever in emigrating to the United States. By now besotted, Varun shifted base to India.

Hyderabad Blues 2 derives its setting from this stage. Six years of marital bliss have passed when that itch creeps in. Ready or not (to have kids) is the question that divides the couple. Disagreement grows into tiff, tiff fuels temporary estrangement, and the ominous D-word lurks not far.

However, Kukunoor keeps the light vein flowing throughout the movie. Varun and Ashwini’s friends, the take-it-easy Sanjeev (Vikram Inamdar) and his wife, the chirpy Seema (Elahi Hiptoola), offer a smattering of solutions to this conundrum, including a visit to the experienced Shashi aunty for tips on “how to seduce your husband.” Things also take a dangerous turn when Varun hires a flirtatious floor manager Menaka (Tisca Chopra) at his call center.

The entire movie is in English, sprinkled with Hindi colloquialisms that will make native Hyderabadis fondly reminisce their city. Kukunoor’s direction is not only superb, but keeps the situation and surroundings very real. Transitions are crisp. And worthy of praise are the actors who do full justice to their roles.

Hyderabad Blues 2 could be a scene from anyone’s life. This is a great chance to sit back and take notes or laugh at ourselves.

—Nitya Ramanan

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