Love Per Square Foot – Refreshing, Likeable, could have been less glossy though

The opening frame has Sanjay Chaturvedi  (Vicky Kaushal)  standing on top of his modest railway quarter terrace,  as a portrait of a fairly ambitious millennial, visualising his superpowers through a middle-class lens. This frame to start with is a beautiful balance of dreams and absurd pursuits of reality that are to follow.

The story begins with a promise to embrace reality. Sanjay is a Software Engineer in a bank, Karina D’Souza (Angira Dhar) works in the loan department of the same bank. Both belong to middle-class backgrounds, fighting the day-to-day drudgery of space restrictions in Mumbai.

They both come from culturally opposite households. One from a ramshackle Christian house, in which plaster keeps falling precisely on top of someone’s head, while rest of the place is kept looking like a nice pastel backdrop. The other from a box like a conglomerate of kitchen, hall and bedroom where new guests take over an inmate’s bed every other day. The narrative is filled with plenty of believable characters, peppered with honest quirks keeping the first half’s charm top notch.

In the second half, the Director chooses to hold up the Bollywood wand turn every aspiration into reality in the blink of an eye. This removing of struggle from a Mumbaikar’s life is where the story starts to lose its spell. The realization of dreams moves very fast without the pace in the narrative as such. The shift of focus from ‘square foot’ to ‘love’ is also sudden and misses to maintain the momentum of the first half. There is no gradual love, but there are instances of rickshaw and local train romance that attempt to compensate for the lack of reality. Owing to the talented actors, the chemistry comes naturally despite lack of any build up. Vicky Kaushal and Angira Dhar make for a delightful pair, keeping us interested in their lives, despite the forced Mumbai-ness.

What works brilliantly though, is the stellar cast. Pathak sisters together are a riot to watch. Ratna Pathak as Mrs. Blossom is so effortlessly accurate with her Bandra-Christian lingo.  ‘Kanpuriya’ Supriya Pathak and Raghubir Yadav light up the screen with their innocent middle-class act. They are all stubborn yet forward-looking and accommodating like most Mumbai parents. These three together and little moments of joy are half the reason for Love per Square foot’s magic!

Undoubtedly it is some refreshing writing and overall a likeable watch. Only if it’s heart would have stayed in the non-Bollywood Mumbai, the emotions could have soared higher.







PadMan – great subject, average cinema

In the era of Netflix and binge-watching, we have many a web series and short films on all possible ‘taboo’ subjects (including periods) that commercial cinema still shies away from. Hence the spirit and intent of Padman are worthy of applaud. Of course, you need a powerful star to bring this subject forth and a ton of marketing gimmicks to justify the empowerment and liberation part of the message. But sadly that alone cannot guarantee a good cinematic experience. Continue reading

Nasir Hussain – The unsung hero behind Yaadon Ki Baarat, Teesri Manzil, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and many more

Hindi cinema, no matter how advanced and westernized today, still remains to be highly inspired by the early 70s and 80s. Look at just the number of rehashed stories and songs, remakes in the last year and all of them being received with applause. One such name, which is remembered fondly in the industry as someone who gave some of the most iconic movies of all times. The legendary producer-director, Nasir Hussain has given Indian audiences hit after hit. The man known to be the founder of the Indian masala film did not just set a trend but paved a path for commercial Indian cinema as it stands today. With movies like Yaadon Ki Baaraat, Teesri Manzil, Hum Kisise Kum Nahin or even his magnum opus Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, this visionary producer-director used the formula of great music + high impact drama + star power to catapult his movies to become major box-office successes and winning him the title of ‘Musical Entertainer’.

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Tiger Zinda Hai – thank god there is more to this than Tiger

If only it wasn’t called ‘inspired by true incidents’ our appetite for irrationality would have been more welcoming than it already is. This sequel to Ek Tha Tiger brings back our hero RAW agent who’s been hiding somewhere in the Alps, only more bloated. If you are still recovering from Tubelight, the opening scene rejects all your doubts about his ‘Tiger’ like qualities, supported by action and blatant dialogues. Not to mention, this intro makes for a good take on Salman’s wildlife fondness.

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Ittefaq – not crisp and brisk enough for a thriller

Two suspects, two murders, two versions. Debutant director Abhay Chopra brings to us a modern-day reinvention of the 1969 thriller starring Rajesh Khanna and Nanda.

Vikram (Siddharth Malhotra), a novelist from the UK finds himself caught between two murders on one dark night, none of which he admits to committing. Neither does Maya (Sonakshi Sinha) wife of the murdered lawyer. What lies next is discovering of the ‘coincidence’ that brings all of this together.

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Secret Superstar – Manages to be heartwarming despite predictability


The rags to riches story is always an easy win amongst our masses, for a simple reason that it gives hope. It is also an age-old formula for all the popular talent shows, that have become our dinnertime favourites. Yes, we appreciate the art, but what really keeps us glued is the celebration of human victory over life’s challenges. Secret Superstar banks on this very premise and brings forth one of these ‘winning’ stories in an attempt to strike the right emotional chords.

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NEWTON – This is not a review, only an appreciation of this excellent cinema


An opening scene introduces us to this curly haired, blinking eyed guy biting on an apple while he is sunk in some manual. Nutan Kumar cleverly changed his name to Newton as a child, to escape mockery and of course inspired by the legend himself.

Newton has been selected as presiding officer for an upcoming election in an area with mere 78 voters. It is a day in the lives of people involved in the painstaking operation of conducting elections in the Naxalite affected jungles of Chhattisgarh. What follows next is the unlayered portrayal of the perplexed Indian democratic system. Without being cynical, Amit V Masurkar and Mayank Tewari’s screenplay excel at the immersive storytelling of this ‘just another’day, in the electoral process of India with an unflinching dark humour.

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