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EXCLUSIVE: Nagesh Kukunoor says ‘theatrical releases are only for big films’ as he opens up on Good Lukh Sakh

Nagesh Kukunoor is an Indian filmmaker who has predominantly worked on Bollywood films. He is known for his works in parallel cinema, such as Hyderabad Blues (1998), Rockford (1999), Iqbal (2005), Dor (2006), Aashayein (2010), Lakshmi (2014), and Dhanak (2016). He also made his directional debut in Telugu with Keerthy Suresh starrer Good Luck Sakhi. 

Nagesh is the mastermind behind the Telugu version, Modern Love Hyderabad, which is based on the weekly column of the same name published by The New York Times. Inspired by the famous New York Times column, Modern Love Hyderabad strings together six heartfelt episodes of love, directed by several talented filmmakers including Nagesh, who directed three episodes. Nagesh Kukunoor interacted with Pinkvilla exclusively and opened up about Modern Love Hyderabad and Good Luck Sakhi. 

While the English and Hindi version was well-received by audiences, he revealed how the Telugu version came into the picture and said, “I was approached while I started the shoot of a Telugu film so I kinda was building up the momentum to be able to do stuff in Telugu. But honestly, more than doing it in Telugu, it was modern love that attracted me because of the original one, I watched season one and it was so good so I said yes to this Telugu version. And the six different stories that we chose, the writing and production team chose would work well with Telugu audiences.”

Nagesh also shared what went behind roping in veteran actress Suhasini Maniratnam for the role of grandmother in the episode of ‘Why did she leave me there?’ “While casting you see who fits the best and it was clearly Sushasini Ma’am, who I wanted to work with and when I approached her initially, she said no. She rejected because she said in the past she had played these roles and felt she was not very convincing. I was convinced in my head so I said don’t say any right away, just think about it for a while and if you still feel the same way, we don’t need to do it. And ironically, it was Revathi, who convinced Sushasini and that’s how she ended up saying yes. We had a fabulous time shooting,” the director revealed.

The first thing that comes to mind when anyone hears Hyderabad is food and that’s exactly what Nagesh showed in ‘My unlikely Pandemic Dream Partner’ featuring Nithya Menen and Revathy. When asked how did he manage to show the true authenticity of Hyderabad with food, the director said, “Combing food with love was great fun.”

Opening about the debacle of Keerthy Suresh starrer Good Luck Sakhi at the box office, Nagesh stated, “It is doing well in OTT space, and the theatrical release was one of the things that got messed up over the time because of a pandemic. Sometimes these things, the theatrical ball game is something really bad. I wanted the film to be a small, light-hearted one but somehow it ended up becoming a longer project.” 

The director believes his space is clearly OTT. He added, “I would do movies too but who knows where they will eventually be shown right. For now, my immediate space is clearly on OTT.” The director also agrees that the OTT space is a great platform for the creative process. He mentioned, “Yeah, I think OTT is where a lot more creativity is, it’s where I truly enjoy being because there is no pressure of box office. And these days it seems like the theatrical space is only reserved for the really really big films. You know the blockbuster kinda films. Clearly, since I don’t make those, I’m much more happy to be in the OTT space. Creatively it is extremely exciting, there is no limit so I truly enjoy being here.”

Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: ‘Naga Chaitanya is pure, honest and that inspires me’: Krithi Shetty on their chemistry & NC22


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