Netflix Original Love Per Square Foot is about two dreaming young adults wanting their own ideal home, which leads to the opportunity for a marriage of convenience. Directed by Anand Tiwari and starring Vicky Kaushal and Angira Dhar.
The streaming giant Netflix is trying to take over the world. With their recent press release that they are signing up a few Hindi-spoken films, Bollywood romantic dramas are their next objective. There is no room for complaints. The more genres covered the better, especially one that presents itself as a Bollywood story. The first release is in the form of Love Per Square Foot. The romance tackles the problems facing different generations of today in a humorous, charming style.
The lead characters are two young, lost souls. Both are confined to societal structures and bound to their own self-promised ideals. Karina (Angina Dhar) is trapped in a relationship and a family house, with no space for herself and a partner that puts all his priorities before her. Sanjay (Vicky Kaushal) is in a similar situation, except he has even less space, and his beautiful boss is toying with a potential romance with him, despite the fact she has a partner. Sanjay and Karina have one common goal: they both want a house. One day, by stumbling into each other in the same working environment, their goal comes alight by flirting with a marriage of convenience.
On the face of it, Love Per Square Foot is your typical romance of boy meets girl, except the themes present themselves more strongly. In a generation obsessed with security and the fluctuating housing market, it offers a connection worth relating to. At the start, having a house is way more important than marriage. Of course, it provides the culture and tradition that marriage is absolutely crucial and that you have to get married, but if anything, this Bollywood drama explains a lot to us today in narrative form. Is having the house more important, or love?
The music set pieces and the wonderful songs are only sustained by great performances from the leading couple. Their energy and enjoyment come through on the screen to make it a crowd-pleasing feature. The chemistry helps; their way of bouncing off each other and allowing small moments to feel more significant captures your imagination of the situation. Driving performances were needed because Love Per Square Foot is mostly about chasing the ideal dream. Without great drama, it could have been quite boring. The movie does feel modernised, especially with snippets of mobile phones and the challenges to traditions in a family, but it does immerse itself in the culture we are aware of; marriage is important.
Scratching the surface is the comedy. There are charming moments which amuse, and it is not a romance that takes itself too seriously. It pokes fun at a desperate young generation, and in essence, glamourises the importance of securing a house. The moments where Sanjay is harassed by his boss are comical, as he does not know how to situate himself in such awkward situations. The Netflix film is not trying to take itself too seriously. The one criticism is that Love Per Square Foot is too long for its premise. It does drag and could easily have been twenty minutes shorter. However, the movie does stay interesting, with a few unexpected turns. The whole dynamic of arranging a marriage and brushing off the past with your exes allows the chemistry between both characters to develop and appear stronger as the narrative progresses.
Love Per Square was released on Valentine’s Day, so it doesn’t get more mainstream like that. However, this is a good start as part of a batch of releases Netflix plan to do. It will charm you.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.