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Review: Salt Mango Tree is average

By Paresh C Palicha
November 09, 2015 10:09 IST
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Serving a bitter pill dipped in sweetener may look good on paper but in Salt Mango Tree, the taste is disproportional, writes Paresh C Palicha.

Director Rajesh Nair exploits Biju Menon's comic flair in Salt Mango Tree, a family entertainer with a social message.

The story is as old as the hills -- Aravindan TP (Biju Menon) is a happy-go-lucky medical store owner and his wife is Priya (Lakshmi Chandramouli), a convent-educated ambitious lady. Priya wants their child to get admission in the best school in the town, and strives very hard to achieve her goal. But her husband does not share her dream and does not help in grooming their child.

The narrative is predictable too, but has a lot of humour.

The story has social messages wrapped in a couple of sub plots like grandparents languishing in the rural areas to be in the company of their grandchildren or in another instance, an educated scientist, who has migrated to the US, ignoring his parents and not even sending money for their medicals expenses.

In the second half, the narrative takes off on a different tangent, talking about grooming and preparing parents and children about school interviews, with Suhasini coming in as the trainer.

The story could have fit in the format of a one-hour television show but the writer duo of Vinod and Vinod (Vinod Vijayakumar and Vinod Jayakumaran) pad it up and hammer in the point they are trying to make. Like the time when Priya's brother's German wife tells her that she learnt Malayalam to converse with them, so why should Priya insist that she should talk with her son in English. She adds that she is proud to be a German and uses English just to communicate.

Biju Menon's potential as a comedian is explored to the maximum to the extent that the character almost looks frivolous. For example, when he is told to say a few words about child labour in English, he talks about labour pains and child bearing. It doesn't sound funny at all.

On the whole, serving a bitter pill dipped in sweetener may look good on paper but in Salt Mango Tree, the taste is disproportional.

Rediff Rating: 

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