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'Salt City' Review: The Spirit of Mumbai Can't Save a Mediocre Series
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'Salt City' Review: The Spirit of Mumbai Can't Save a Mediocre Series

'Salt City', starring Gauahar Khan and Piyush Mishra, is streaming on Sony LIV.

Updated
Movie Reviews
3 min read

Salt City

'Salt City' Review: The Spirit of Mumbai Can't Save a Mediocre Series

The city of Mumbai has been a staple of cinema for centuries; from being just a setting to an aspiration to often a metaphor, the city has seen it all in Bollywood. Mumbai finds itself in the cast again for Salt City, a story about a family that moved from Lucknow to Mumbai and eventually cracks started to appear in the very fabric of their relationships to one another.

A still from Salt City.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

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One character in the show says, “Mumbai, it adds salt to everything,” and on similar lines, Piyush Mishra laments that the ‘rust’ has eaten away at his family. Salt City explores the way patriarchy and the expectations it puts on everyone has the potential to ‘eat away’ at people.

Mishra, as the patriarch, is dismissive of his partner and his kids and often belittles them if things don't go the way he expects them to be. Easily irritable and often passive aggressive, Mishra places a lot of value on his ‘honour’.

In that, Salt City has an important theme running through it but it twists and meanders through numerous subplots giving none the time they need to develop into something a viewer could be hooked on.

The show explores how Piyush’s toxic behaviour affects his wife Triveni (Navni Parihar), and his sons Aman (Manish Anand) and Nikhil (Pranay Pachauri), and his nephew Saurabh and niece Ela, played by Divyendu Sharma and Monica Chaudhary. Triveni often looks at her husband before she says something, Piyush’s character always interrupts Gunjan (Gauahar Khan), who is more assertive than Triveni is.

Gauahar Khan in a still from Salt City.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Of the entire show, the equation between Saurabh and Ela is perhaps the only one fleshed out properly. Ela’s character, too, is one of the better written ones. The way she deals with being shamed for her weight or the way she’s affected by her trauma Gauahar Khan’s character Gunjan seems on the cusp of being a good character but in giving her convoluted storylines to stick to, that potential is lost.

Salt City positions itself as a brilliant tale of how patriarchy and lack of communication affects a family and how a toxic patriarch can leave a lasting effect on the self esteem and expression of those around him but it’s difficult to connect with these mostly woefully one-dimensional characters.

A still from Salt City.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Maybe the show will delve deeper into each character as an individual in following seasons, if they exist, and then maybe it will absolve itself of the cardinal sin of OTT– making a show that doesn’t engage.

SonyLiv’s latest offering Salt City started streaming on 16 June.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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