Love Per Square Foot: Vicky Kaushal says Netflix film might be set in Mumbai but its theme is universal
Love Per Square Foot is a story of two Mumbaikars who end up being in a relationship of convenience just to have a place of their own
After working on hard-hitting, realistic films like Masaan, Zubaan and Raman Raghav 2.0, Love Per Square Foot (LPSF), a romcom and situational comedy came as a breath of fresh air for actor Vicky Kaushal. A Netflix film that releases on Valentine’s Day (14 February), LPSF is a story of two Mumbaikars who are shown struggling to find their own space in the city of dreams, and in an attempt to get that space, they end up being in a relationship of convenience. And that's when the drama begins.
"The film’s setting may be in Mumbai but the theme is universal. The relationships, aspirations and dreams that you will see in these characters is quite universal," says Kaushal. Adds Angira Dhar, the film’s leading lady, who will be making her debut with LPSF. "In a very long time the audience will see a Mumbai-based film because off-late we have been seeing too much of Delhi, Rajasthan and North India in our movies which makes Love Per Square Foot fresh."
LPSF also brings together acting stalwarts Ratna Pathak Shah, Supriya Pathak, and Raghuvir Yadav also form the main cast of the movie. It is the feature film directorial debut of Anand Tiwari, who had earlier directed Yash Raj Films' mini-series Bang Baaja Baarat.
Kaushal, who had made a name for himself in a short span of time, says that he was attracted by director Tiwari’s narration. “Actually, whenever a story narration happens, I don’t listen to it thinking that I will be performing in the film, I hear it as an audience. That I am watching a film and what do I feel during and after the narration is over. When I was listening to Anand, I was going through a whole gamut of emotions. I was at times rolling on the floor with laughter, I was relating to the emotions, characters and had a smile on my face throughout. I felt it was a good opportunity to be part of a story which could be my story, or my friends’ story, or even my parents’ story. It was breaking the boundaries. It didn’t appear to be just a youth-centric film, but it’s something that my parents would also enjoy. Also, it’s a new space for me as an artiste. Anand is such a fantastic actor himself that I knew I would learn new nuances from him about acting.”
“As an audience you will be conflicted that do I like this or do I not like this. It is giving the audience an opportunity and space to think that what do they exactly want after watching the film,” said Angira, who plays a fiercely independent woman torn between two worlds, two relationships. “One is a world of probable dependence on somebody, and the other she will freely be able to create for herself. Where does her moral compass go? That is her trajectory in life, and the film is a love triangle,” said Angira explaining about her character.
Since the topic was relatable for everybody, the actors say that although they would seek reference from whatever was happening in their lives, they followed the director’s vision throughout. “All three of us belong to middle class families raised in Mumbai. We have seen the life that we have shown in the film. It was actually bringing energies together and creating a good product. But the vision was so refined in Anand’s head,” said Kaushal, furthering, “He narrated that he would live in a chawl in Matunga which had a common bathroom on each floor, and whenever he was using the bathroom, someone or the other would be knocking on the door asking him to come out fast. Eventually, when he had his own house, there was nobody to knock on the bathroom door. So, for the first time he understood that this was his space. That little moment became the essence of this film. That story of Anand became the sur for my character in my head. I had to live that moment and that helped me throughout the film.” “Script was like the spine of the film, before we could ask any question, it was already answered,” added Angira.
LPSF is Kaushal’s first film in 2018. The actor has been quite busy with multiple projects that would release this year. He will be soon seen in Rajkumar Hirani’s biopic on Sanjay Dutt, and Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi (opposite Alia Bhatt). He’s also part of Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyan (with Taapsee Pannu) which just went on floors, and recently he shot with Karan Johar for Bombay Talkies 2. “I really feel blessed and lucky to be part of these films. These are the filmmakers from who you don’t just learn and become better actors but you also become better human beings, and that is growth for me. It has been a delightful ride,” said Kaushal. Further, praising his Raazi co-star, he said, “Alia is a stunning performer and a wonderful human being. I am a fan of her body of work, she is such a spontaneous and organic actor we have.”
Further, when asked about his take on relationship vis-a-vis shown in LPSF, Kaushal said, “Relationship of convenience has never happened to me and I don’t believe in it either. I believe in becoming friends first. In the film, we have explored both the negative and positive side of being in such a relationship."
Produced by Bollywood veteran Ronnie Screwvala’s new production company RSVP, Love Per Square Foot will start streaming on Netflix from 14 February.
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