‘Tiga Janda Melawan Dunia’ strives to buck society’s norms

This is not a movie review. There, however, could be a spoiler or two.

A burst of energy and peals of infectious laughter greeted invited guests as they headed to their seats in Hall 12 at GSC Mid Valley Megamall on Thursday night to watch Tiga Janda Melawan Dunia.

Seated at the stage near the screen were Directors Think Tank (DTT) co-founder Maurice Noone, an award-winning director himself, and DTT’s star in the making, film director Hyrul Anuar.

Hyrul was bubbling with joy (it could have been nerves, hard to tell). It is, after all, his first film debut, featuring a star-studded cast who seemed modest when they were introduced to the guests just before the movie started.

Actor Norman Hakim urged those present to tag them on Instagram to generate more buzz for the movie. It sounded more like a plea.

This, coming from a reputable actor and television host, who has a verified Instagram account with 1.2 million followers.

Another actor in the movie, Razif Hashim, in thanking Hyrul for the opportunity, said: “When he (Hyrul) sold me the idea, I thought he was crazy… and he is crazy (laughs)..”

There were those who enjoyed the movie the second they dug into their popcorn. Others said it only got better towards the end. Some appreciated the commercial-like elements infused in the film.

Several people even likened certain scenes in the movie to that of highly-acclaimed Hong Kong actor and filmmaker Stephen Chow’s evergreen, bone-tickling flicks.

Hyrul took a bold – some might even say “crazy” approach – for his debut movie. He raised some eyebrows and turned some heads.

You could say that that’s him melawan dunia (going against the world).

The three main stars – Khatijah Tan, Raja Azura, and Normah Damanhuri – showed moviegoers that they were still relevant.

Despite harping about the lack of “followers” on social media compared to their younger colleagues in the industry, the experienced trio demonstrated that quality far outweighed age and the social media numbers game that many use as an all-encompassing benchmark. That’s their way of melawan dunia.

Also, flashbacks of Khatijah’s golden moments in Pi Mai Pi Mai Tang Tu – a ground-breaking sitcom that had Malaysians glued to the idiot box in the mid-80s and 90s – came alive as she played ‘Midah’ effortlessly in the movie.

Her dialogue, about standing true to principles, couldn’t have come at a better time, as a general election looms in Malaysia.

Without actress and comedian Rosnah Mat Aris –who played a rather annoying Datin brilliantly – the movie would have been incomplete.

The other characters were Fikri, a lab assistant played by Abbas Mahmod, Midah’s daughter Ana (played by Ellyza Azizi), and the amazing elderly ex-commando couple of Pak Brahmin (played by Anuar Hamid), and Mak Timah (played by Rohaya Maya).

The ensemble expertly weaved their own plots and sub-texts into the movie and collectively carried the central theme of going against the grain, beautifully.

Tiga Janda Melawan Dunia provided the opportunity for a lab assistant – often the “nerdy”, or an overlooked character – to play hero.

The movie also allowed a young, bright, rational college girl (Ana) to speak her mind and take charge.

It also paid tribute to our former servicemen and women, who, despite their age, are still willing to serve and protect.

Those characters melawan dunia.

It is too soon to tell if there will be a sequel to the movie, or a part two, entitled Tiga Duda Melawan Dunia.

For now, if you need a good laugh, or some inspiration in a comedy, watch Tiga Janda Melawan Dunia at a cinema near you.

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