All right, the good news first. Nagesh Kukunoor's "Hyderabad Blues" sequel is just the appetizing stuff we were all hoping for.
After his grossly underrated "3 Deewaarein" last year, Kukunoor needed to return to his roots. The small but engaging film takes capricious semi-satirical swipes at middleclass mores.
Varun Naidu hasn't changed since we last met him six years ago. Still toothy and a bit flustered by the great Indian chaos, the most radical change in his life since we last met him is the dissolution of his green-card status.
If the original film celebrated the otherness of the foreign-returned dude with an attitude, "Hyderabad Blues 2" (HB2) celebrates his oneness with the spirit of chaos in Hyderabad.
The backroom jokes and the all-boys' babble over a game of cards are among the highlights of HB2 - arguably the smartest, sassiest sequel this country's cinema has produced.
I don't think any film has so effectually been able to capture the spirit of corny, lascivious but innocuous camaraderie among male friends as they discuss - what else? - women and sex, in that order.
Back home there's Varun's strangely disaffected-looking wife Ashwini (Jyoti Dogra) pining to experience birth pangs. Her plotting and planning with best friend Seema (Elahi Heptoolah, delightfully free-spirited) to get her husband to comply with her fertility ambitions make the sequel far more 'sexy' than the earlier film.