By Dhriti Mehta
I watched the newly released Bollywood rom-com movie, Love Per Square Foot on Netflix, and girl, was I surprised!
On the face of it, Love Per Square Foot is your quintessential Bollywood movie with an unconventional love story between two bank employees who belong to different religions. Add to that the masala of an awfully weird boss and humorous families and you have the perfect recipe for a totally new age film.
But more than simply good actors and strong female characters played by Ratna Pathak Shah and Supriya Pathak, this movie has a female lead with practicality – something you’ll find in every Indian woman, but unfortunately not in the films representing them.
Karina D’Souza played by Angira Dhar is a realistic woman who dreams of a normal life in a home that she owns. Her wish to lead an independent life and share household responsibilities with her partner are things desired by most urban Indian women today. And while her goal to own her home sounds rather simple to be the entire movie plot, in reality, this is exactly what women in Bollywood were missing and finally got…
The acknowledgement of ownership being our dream too!
Don’t get me wrong. I recognise the shift in Bollywood over the years and its success in giving us extremely strong and ambitious female protagonists from strong-willed Geet in Jab We Met to entrepreneurial Shashi in English Vinglish. But while all the Ranis and Shashis and Shrutis of Bollywod constantly remind us the importance of owning our minds and hearts, Karina D’Souza is perhaps one of the first few female characters of Bollywood who emphasizes that sometimes just having your name on a piece of paper is enough for the average Indian woman to feel confident and secure in a country like ours where finding a place for women in society has become a challenge both emotionally and physically.
The movie is a fun one-time watch for anyone who likes modern Bollywood that serves you almost-reality with a side of unnecessary drama and avoidable jokes. But more importantly it is a necessary reminder to all Indian women desiring independence that their goals are best defined for themselves. Compromising is simply not an option anymore and Karina shows that equality is achievable with equal ownership – on paper and in love.