Mango Souffle: Movie Review

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The movie Mango Souffle is directed by Mahesh Dattani. It brings to light sensitive issues that are rarely the subject of Indian screens. 

Kamlesh (Ankul Vikal) invites his friend for some brunch to get out of self-imposed exile at his stylish and beautiful farmhouse. His friends are Sharad (Faredoon Dodo Bhujwala) an intelligent, sharp-witted man who is struggling to retain his friendship with Kamlesh, Ranjit (Denzil Smith), Bunny (Sanjit Bedi), and Deepali (Heeba Shah).

Kamlesh’s party witnesses some surprise visits from his sister (Rinke Khanna) and her fiancé Atul. Their presence at the brunch party isn’t welcome and it sparks off a conflict. Kamlesh’s friends are surprised with what’s going on and they realize that they’re the only ones who can assist to resolve the conflict. 

Some essential questions are brought up in the film and one of them is whether Kamlesh will finally find happiness in his relationship with Sharad and whether Kian would try to fix her and Ed’s marriage and whether even Ed loved her. 

Mango Souffle is the big screen adaptation of an English play and takes a miscroscopic look at the queer preferences of many people.  While the film makes an effort to take an in-depth look at a theme that’s bound to capture the attention of orthodox Indian audiences and catch them by surprise, there’s no doubt that Dattani makes a good effort to show the complexity of relationships with careful objectivity while trying to be sensitive. 

The movie has no vulgar language and neither is there any hard effort to provide the audience with cheap thrills through entertainment. There’s also not much effort from the director to play to the gallery. One of the most significant areas of the film that suffers is the pace of the film which becomes a little slow at some time. 

However, a convincing build-up to the story makes up for the loss of pace in the film. Mahesh Dattani does not show any revelation of being a first-time director even though Mango Souffle is the first film he directed. 

Besides being an exceptional writer, it is clear that Mahesh is in possession of exceptional knowledge and skill of technique. Additionally, Mahesh has pushed majority of the cast into presenting exceptional performances. Rinke Khanna provides an exceptional performance with her first-class skill. The actress is extremely confident and gives her role the right amount of pressure and release that it needs. 

Another cast member full of surprises is Faredoon Dodo Bhujwala. The actos handles his role seemingly easily and gives an admirable performance. Atul Kulkarni is also admirable for the conscious effort he made to try and present his lines through the English language. Heeba Shah and Ankur Vikal also handled their parts exceptionally well. 

Denzil Smith also gives a good performance but Sanjit Bedi unfortunately lets the director down in his performance. In summary, Mango Souffle brings to light a theme that not many people are comfortable with. 

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