A mediocre drama about a dysfunctional family


STORY: The shows follow the journey of Bajpai family through the lens of different family members and the complexities of their lives.

REVIEW: Helmed by Rishabh Anupam Sahay, Salt City tells a story of Bajpai family, who moved from Lucknow to Mumbai about two and a half decades ago and have since lost touch with their roots in this vast rustic city. “This humid city Mumbai adds salt to everything—water, air, people and their relationships—as a result, they become rustic,” says Harish Bajpai (Piyush Mishra), the family patriarch. The series looks at parents’ expectations of their children and how larger cities are turning them into desperate people who want to succeed by any means necessary.

Harish is dismissive of his homemaker wife Triveni (Navni Parihar), and their children—Aman (Manish Anand), who lives separately with his wife Gunjan (Gauahar Khan), Nikhil (Pranay Pachauri), who has moved out of the house to do something big in life, Saurabh (Divyenndu), who is towing contractor and struggling to do something useful in life, Esha (Eisha Chopra), who is married to a wealthy investment banker Sukesh (Jitin Gulati) and their niece Ela (Monica Chaudhary). When everyone gathers for Ela’s wedding, their relationships and bonds are put to the test, since Harish often dismisses them if things don’t go the way he expects them to be.

Written and co-produced by Pranjal Saxena, Rishabh Anupam Sahay and Shashank Kunwar, this seven-part series has numerous subplots, such as, Harish’s relationship and comfort with Vibha Bhatnagar (Nivedita Bhattacharya), who is a commissioner in a family court, Saurabh’s affair with neighbouring girl Sulekha (Vinita J), Esha’s who is career-oriented but expected to take care of the house and raise children, etc. They have not been given enough time to develop into something that viewers can be hooked on. The plot is disjointed from the beginning and takes too long to unfold—the drama begins to make sense by the fifth episode. The pace is unrushed, but by the time it becomes interesting, one loses interest.

Piyush Mishra’s character Harish is easily irritable and hostile in a passive-aggressive way. His toxic behaviour has a negative impact on the family members. Mishra’s character would definitely irk the viewers and leave them wondering why he can’t just go back to his hometown of Lucknow if he has so many problems with the metropolis. Piyush gives a fantastic performance.

Only the moments Saurabh and Ela share on-screen will steal your heart out of the entire show. Whether they’re smoking joints or talking about their feelings, their bond is the strongest of them all. Their character arcs are well-written, and Divyenndu and Monica are perfectly cast in their respective roles. Gunjan, played by Gauahar Khan, appears to be a twisted character who squanders his potential early in the story.

Salt City is a story about the effects of generational differences and shifting perspectives on families. However, it loses its potential when the characters are one-dimensional. If it gets a second season, perhaps the show will delve deeper into each character, making it a more compelling drama to watch.