P. Ramlee Madu Tiga (1964)

[Image: madu-tiga.jpg] 
Country : Singapore
Genre : Comedy
Release Date : 12 February 1964
Runtime : 100 mins
Language : Malay
Subtitles : English (.srt)
Color : Black and White
IMDB Link : link

[Image: PRamleeMaduTiga1964JaKi05.jpg]
A man takes a second wife without his first wife’s permission and knowledge. When she finds out, he gets into big trouble and just when the dust settles, he meets another woman he’s attracted to and marries her too. Complications ensue when all three become friends and hilarious consequences follows. Written by madjanssen

The central character, Jamil, marries three women without any of them realising that their husband has committed polygamy. Jamil and Latifah have been married for 12 years. When Jamil decides to marry Hasnah, he lied to Hasnah saying that Latifah has agreed to allow him to marry again due to the fact that the pair (Jamil and Latifah) does not have children. Jamil who is also working for Latifah’s father, played by Ahmad Nisfu, told his father-in-law about his marriage with Hasnah. Later, when collecting rent from his tenants, Jamil falls for one tenant’s daughter, Rohani and decides to marry the girl. With the help of his father-in-law, Jamil manages to keep his three marriages a secret from one another. However, an encounter at the hair salon causes the three wives to meet up. Rohani invited both Latifah and Hasnah to her house for tea. Later they found Rohani’s wedding picture. The three women independently befriend each other, causing Jamil to be wrapped in an ever-tightening web of lies and trickery.

Best Film Comedy – 11th Asia Pacific Film Festival (1964) Taipei

Trivia fans will notice that this movie is different from previous P Ramlee movies whereby apart from Ahmad Nisfu, it does not have his usual supporting actors. Instead P Ramlee carries the movie by himself and successfully does so, proving the (then) critics wrong that it was his supporting actors that were responsible for his comedies being very successful, and not himself.

In a quick summary, the film revolves around Jamil bin Abu (P Ramlee) juggling his everyday life to accommodate his new conquest of having a second wife (and eventually a third!!!), without each wife knowing the real truth of the polygamy situation. Unsurprisingly, the climax involves all 3 wives going after Jamil after having discovered that they were not the only women in his life. I won’t spoil the readers as to who eventually gets Jamil, although presumably, if you’re reading this, you would have already known anyway.
As correctly noted by several IMDb members, the storyline is theoretically impossible. IMO however this is what makes this film a success. Whereas other previous P Ramlee comedies relies heavily on slapstick or comedic elements from the actors themselves, Madu Tiga’s success is based on having a very strong (although unlikely) storyline. The actors/ actresses play their roles seriously and do not resort to slapstick, making the formula very successful. The storyline is based on an unlikely situation, and this is even made better (and thus even more unlikely) with the twist of having a father-in-law taking your side and not the daughter’s!! Special mention should go to Ahmad Nisfu (as always) who plays Jamil’s father-in-law, Haji Latiff. Married men can only dream of the scenario of having Haji Latiff as their father-in-law. Note the Company’s Name- {{Haji Latiff & Menantu}} (menantu translated is son-in-law)- this fact tells all of where his allegiance lies. Jah Haji Mahadi also does an excellent performance as Latifah, the long-suffering first wife of 12 years, as does M Rafee as P Ramlee’s dependable assistant. The scene where Rafee does not waste any time with small-talk when proposing Jamil’s third wife-to-be is just pure classic!

I also agree with the the IMDb submitter Mad_Janssen that Zera Agus’s overacting performance was weak. It unfortunately was the slight weak point of the film, as I found it hard to understand how Jamil would be attracted to her in the first place.

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