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Times of India
: The film narrates the story of Aravindan TP, a medical store owner and his family. They lead a contended life, until few people enter their world, resulting in a lot of humourous incidents.
Salt Mango Tree
is one of those films made to entertain, enlighten and drive home some strong messages on raising kids in modern times. It wants viewers to empathize with middle-class parents - who have to go through gruelling procedures to ensure a KG seat for their kid - and draw parallels with their life at many junctures. But to choose a familiar theme with predictable plots to make an impactful movie needs some brilliant sequences. They need to be insightful, not preachy to drive home the message.
Ostensibly, the story showcases the efforts of little Manu's parents - who are no geniuses themselves - who try to get admitted into one of the best schools in their area. In a world where it has become normal to expect a pre-schooler to speak fluent English, the kid is rejected from one school after the other. The parents sign up for a programme in which they get trained to create some impression during admission interviews and what follows forms the two-hour movie.
Thanks to Biju Menon's knack for comedy, the movie has many humorous moments involving him Sudheer Karamana, Sarayu and Saiju Kurup. His expressions and exasperations are spot on. The cluelessness of the common man about the stringent, tricky new-age school procedures and their efforts to figure them out that often land them in trouble are portrayed well in the film.
However, it could have become a convincing story of kids who are robbed off their innocence and childhood right at pre-KG level if the script was smarter. The movie doesn't enlighten hapless parents and doesn't end quite convincingly with just a few lines from Suhasini on what went wrong in her life and things automatically falling in place in one particular interview.
These do not translate into an impactful message, what you understand is that even adults are often victims of ignorance. The movie lacks something that deftly holds it all together. However, the film's humour quotient is not a bad bet.