Love Per Square Foot and Mumbai’s Complicated Relationship with Space

Bollywood

Love Per Square Foot and Mumbai’s Complicated Relationship with Space

Illustration: Juergen Dsouza

T

he opening shots of Anand Tiwari’s debut film, Love Per Square Foot, do a fine job of pitching space as both a theme and a metaphor in the lives of Mumbai’s migrant middle-class.

Netflix’s first original Hindi film (co-written by Sumeet Vyas), opens with Sanjay Chaturvedi’s (Vicky Kaushal) morning routine: He stands on the terrace, toothbrush in mouth and towel in hand, peeking intently into the lives that play out in the skyscraper across the road. While he waits for his railway-announcer father Bhaskar (Raghubir Yadav in top form) to free the bathroom for him, the couple across the road have no such worries. Nestled in their spacious apartment, they are the outliers in the city of dreams; ones who can afford the luxury of space, time, and companionship without having to compromise with the city that never sleeps. As Sanjay and the man in the apartment lock eyes, it’s clear that Sanjay wants to live the ultimate Bombay dream: A place to call your own.

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