Just like that recent Jayasurya starrer jilebi, Salt mango tree is also one simple fun film that has abundant comedy to keep you entertained and a not so convincing preaching which kind of serves the purpose of having a message. With Biju Menon single handedly carrying the movie to a different level with his comedy timing, Salt Mango Tree is undoubtedly Rajesh Nair’s best film (he earlier made Annum innum ennum and Escape from Uganda).
The focus of the film is on the educational system and the kind of competition that has been happening in that area. The couple Aravind and Priya are the main protagonists. They are in a tensed condition as they can’t find a school for their son. The interviews and financial difficulties have made things difficult for them and the movie tells us how they ultimately managed to overcome all those difficulties.
The content isn’t that novel to be praised, but it is definitely contemporary and the writers have decided to treat it in the humorous fashion. Go back to the roots, follow your heart, live your life etc. are the “message” side of the movie, but there isn’t a strong emphasis on those thoughts as they were shown in the usual cheesy style. As I said, it is the humour which flows naturally in between the progress of the plot that makes the film enjoyable. Even the slightly melodramatic home visit portion also becomes delightful because of that beautiful song which was visualized wonderfully.
Salt Mango Tree minus Biju Menon looks very dull to be honest. You know the kind of minimalistic reaction and counter dialogues he delivers in his usual style. That has created some good moments of wit which helps the movie in being entertaining. The leading lady Lakshmy Priyaa has equal screen time and even though her portrayal is a bit too dramatic, it wasn’t bad (Thanks to Raveena Ravi’s good dubbing). No offense to the little one, he was finding it difficult (an area where Jilebi scored). Saiju Kuruppu, Suhasini, Sunil Sughada, Paris Lakshmi, Sudheer Karamana and Sarayu were fine in their respective roles. Special mention to Harish for his typical Kozhikode slang dialogues which increased the humour quotient.
Rajesh Nair whose earlier works failed to create an impression this time has decided to go for a light hearted relevant subject. The making also has that simplistic feeling and him along with the screen writers have tried their best to keep the melodrama away (still it happens). The writing nicely captures the middle class family life and presents it with sensible troubles and hilarity. The training session that kind of follows the English Vinglish style could have been better. The cinematography from Vishnu Sharma showed quality and the music from Hesham was also really catchy (personal favorite – kattummel ). Background score was also fine.
Overall I would say Salt Mango Tree is definitely a watchable entertainer that has a fair enough content and more than enough humour. The rating for the film is a generous 3/5. If Jilebi has worked for you, this one will also work. I kind of felt both films are in the similar zone of entertainment.
If Jilebi has worked for you, Salt Mango Tree will also work. I kind of felt both films are in the similar zone of entertainment.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended