Sun. May 19th, 2024

It is a known fact that getting admission for today’s children to some top English medium schools in Cities is no mean task. But is it a herculean task? Thats what “Salt Mango Tree” try to say in a humorous and fun filled way.

The story focus on Aravind and Priya, a middle class couple. The former runs a medical shop while the latter is an Accountant working in a local firm. Shedding light on the present educational system, “Salt Mango Tree” show the effort the two protagonists put together to get their only son admitted to some reputed English Medium school in the City.

Having enough scope for taking a dig at the educational system, interview boards and the way interviews are conducted for children and parents at the time of admission, the spoofing with the humour in the backdrop do act as the entertaining portion in the film. Also our hero is not fluent in English and there too the scope of humour available have been utilised nicely.

But the overdose of melodrama at many places makes the proceedings dull. What saves the film from these negative moments are definitely the comedy part, the simpler narrative and Biju Menon’s style of acting we see from him these days.

The amount of effort and training that the parents of the children putting in to get their wards admitted to schools was a bit exaggerated.

Rajesh Nair who couldn’t taste any box office success in “Annum Innum Ennum” and “Escape from Uganda” direct “Salt Mango Tree” that unconvincingly try to pass some relevant and valuable messages. But in the process the film becomes too preachy. Though watchable primarily for the one liners and comic timing of Biju Menon, the film follow a steady path right from the start till the end.

Biju Menon is the backbone of the film. Without him it would have been an incomplete product and his performance show us he is a bankable and reliable actor even when the chips are down or falling.

Lakshmi Priyaa Chandra whose voice is dubbed quite well makes a perfect foil to Biju Menon as his better half but she was found wanting at some places. Sudheer Karamana, Suhasini, Saiju Kurup, Paris Laxmi, Indrans and Sunil Sugadha are also part of the cast. A special mention to Haresh for his lively comic act in that typical Kozhikodan style.

Cinematography by Vishnu Sharma created a pleasing feel for the eyes. Edits were also fine. Music is by Hesham Abdul Wahab who has done a decent job with his songs. Same opinion about Bijipal’s background score which can be trusted on most times.

So now the question is how the movie can be categorised or graded. Of course it is watchable for the humour content and a sincere act from Biju Menon.

The story and narration is pretty straightforward, simple and relevant but too much preachings and some unwanted melodramas puts this family film to be an average one. My rating is two and a half out of five for Rajesh Nair’s “Salt Mango Tree”.

Review by Chandra Mohan