On February 14, the Netflix platform unveiled its first Hindi movie called Love Per Square Foot. The film is directed by Anand Tiwari to whom we owe the hit web series Bang Baaja Baaraat. This romantic comedy features in its cast the excellent Vicky Kaushal (revealed in 2015 in the drama Masaan). There is also the luminous Angira Dhar, who signs her first feature film with this project.
The story is not very innovative, but the cast is full of force that makes this feel-good movie most effective. Sanjay (Vicky Kaushal) and Karina (Angira Dhar) are both bank employees and cannot afford to buy a house. That's why they decide for a marriage of convenience to buy the house they dream so much. But as you might expect, the feelings come quickly to stir up trouble in this arrangement.
What a joy to find Vicky Kaushal in such a light register! This young man sweats the joy of living in his interviews. If he had rather illustrated in a universe tortured with his roles in Masaan and Psycho Raman, the actor proves how versatile he is with this work of more commercial manufacture. The comedy actually goes like a glove, the actor playing with the camera not without malice. His charisma and presence are undeniable.
Here, the young man seduces us by his generosity and his infectious smile. It is he who makes the show, to make us feel happy. The actor takes pleasure and gives it to the spectator.
At his side, Angira Dhar does very well. Far from Shahana's shameless character who revealed it in Bang Baaja Baaraat, the 26-year-old actress delivers a more nuanced and mature performance as Karina. This young woman here seeks to emancipate and assert herself. The secondary cast is also important as it contributes to the quality of the footage.
Sisters Ratna Pathak Shah and Supriya Pathak Kapur play the fighting line as Karina and Sanjay's moms respectively. One touches her strength and her love for her daughter when the other shows her tenderness and benevolence. Raghubir Yadav is particularly touching in the role of the father of Sanjay who dreams of being a star of the song.
Love Per Square Foot is a Bollywood rom-com in all its splendor, between romance and dance sequences. The story makes great use of all popular Hindi cinema codes without abusing them. The songs find their place in the narration and come serve the frame without ever cluttering it.
The rhythm is sustained and engaging. The director has taken care to get to the heart of the subject from the introductory stage. No waiting or length, Love Per Square Foot is as tasty as it is effective. The original soundtrack is also very nice and also relies on one of my favorite composers Sohail Sen.
The two titles that have remained in my memory are Aashiyana and Maqbool Hai. Both are sung by Altamas Faridi. The image is neat, fresh and modern. The writing in the air of the time as it strives to heal all the characters, they are main or in the background. I love sentimental comedies, but I have consumed so much that I have become quite demanding on the goods.
The ingredients may be the same, but the dosage must differ enough to avoid me an unhappy air of deja vu. The bet is won here since Love Per Square Foot is really one of the beautiful surprises of this beginning of the year. As funny as it is moving, it does not sink into nonsense and makes its story breathe by relying on authentic and sincere heroes, far from flamboyance.
And clearly, Vicky Kaushal proves that he has nothing to envy of his bankable colleagues, from Varun Dhawan to Arjun Kapoor. Charismatic, exceptional performer and fabulous dancer, it is time for the Hindi industry to seize the multidimensional talent of this young man.