Free Press Journal

20 years on, ‘Hyderabad Blues’ prequel on Nagesh Kukunoor’s mind


“Seems like a lifetime, seems like only yesterday”. Nagesh Kukunoor is reminded of the opening lines of his “Hyderabad Blues” as he reminisces the 20 years that have gone by since the release of the film, which inadvertently jump-started the “independent movie movement” in India. Now, a prequel is on his mind. “It seems like yesterday, but I still can’t believe I have survived after 20 years,” Kukunoor said.

A romantic comedy about an NRI Varun, who finds himself caught between two cultures when he returns home to Hyderabad, India after a span of 12 years, “Hyderabad Blues” worked with its unique vibe and relatable content.

Kukunoor even came up with a sequel in 2004. “‘Hyderabad Blues 2’ was technically the first sequel in the American context in India, wherein we had 2 in the title,” Kukunoor recounted, adding that he made it as he had a relevant and “good enough topic to tackle”.

Does he plan to take the ‘franchise’ further? “I’ve thought about it many times, but the journey over my last few films has been extremely varied… Primarily, from a ‘Lakshmi’ to a ‘Dhanak’, the shift is so radically drastic that I am not so sure if I have a proper story in me. And I don’t want to do a part of the trilogy just to do it. When I wrote ‘Hyderabad Blues 2’, initially I said I wouldn’t do anything but seven years later, it was a different Varun who was staying in India, so I felt there was something to say. Now I’m not sure what the angle should be.”

He started writing a “Hyderabad Blues 0” to see Varun’s back story. “But I haven’t completed the script and I don’t know… Sometimes, I go through these moods where I am like ‘Yeah man, it will be a great story to tell’, because the 1980s are now clearly the past. Two generations have gone by. So, it feels like some fun story is there to tell. But I am also potentially looking at it in a web series format. Let’s see, I don’t know if there’s enough mileage, though.”

“Hyderabad Blues” will be screened in Mumbai on July 17 in celebration of its 20 years, as part of Drishyam Films’ The Masters.