7 January 2016 | nairtejas
An Essential Film For The Modern Couple. ♦ Grade C+
Every couple having 3/4 year old kids should watch this comedy drama that is not just a laugh riot but also an essential lesson in parenting in this modern, competitive age.
Middle class couple, Aravind (Menon) and his wife (Chandramouli), are anxiously looking to get their 4-year old son admitted into a reputed school. However, of the few such schools they have in their locality, most of them employ daylight robbery and ask parents of potential new students to gift a donation of few lakhs, which is too big a price. One other problem is that Aravind does not understand or speak English which messes up their chance of getting through the traditional way by qualifying in the interview of parents. The story is about their struggle and the draconian and illegal policies of schools when it comes to admissions.
The first act is pure comedy, and one cannot help but stop and wonder at Biju Menon's mastery when it comes to delivering humorous dialogs. The spontaneity involved in the fitting screenplay will crack you up. The cast is good and so is the story-telling, which is only let down in the middle when Suhasini's character, a grooming teacher for elders, enters the scene with her gimmick and half-baked performance. Other than that, it has a very good message to convey.
The story primarily advises couples to not pressurize their younglings on account of admissions and what lies ahead of that. They should be left off on their own to explore the world, read what they like, play what they like, and choose an interest that they like. When parents turn into helicopters and guide their kids into submission so that they are well-behaved and more intelligent than their neighbor Mrs. Chacko's kids is when things go haywire. Just stick to the basics of parenting, that's what the film is all about.
BOTTOM LINE: Salt Mango Tree is a highly recommended film for couples and families who should learn that while schooling is an important facet in a kid's life, every kid has his/her own limits, and pushing these is not in anyone's best interests. The humor makes it a pleasing watch.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES