A family's attempt at matchmaking their oldest daughter and the conflicts that follow.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Chitra Dewi ...
(as Citra Dewi)
Bambang Irawan
Indiati Iskak
Rendra Karno
Hassan Sanusi
Mieke Wijaya
Fifi Young
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A family's attempt at matchmaking their oldest daughter and the conflicts that follow.

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1956 (Indonesia)  »

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A humble portrait of Indonesian family with a great sense of humour (English)
14 August 2016 | by See all my reviews

Not gonna lie, I was entirely skeptical when I first saw the advertisement of this movie in Instagram. I thought it will be just a corny love story with soap opera undertones, but what I have watched totally exceeded my expectations.

This film is one of the earliest example of Rom-com musical in Indonesia, and the people who worked to restore this movie into 4k resolution really knew their job. The story is quite humble, it's about three sisters with different personalities who live with their father and their grandmother. The eldest, Nunung (Citra Dewi) is forced by her grandmother to get married because she will turn 30 next year. And the rest of the story is a series of comical matchmaking attempts and funny misunderstandings, all of them accompanied by charming vintage songs.

Other than providing the portrait of family life, it also managed to become a sweet romance story. Every actors did their job really well, I feel like nobody outshines each other but instead, compliments each other's performances and their chemistry is strong. The characters are not one dimensional, they all have flaws and sympathetic moral points. Plot-wise, the story's depiction of Indonesians living in the 50s is quite realistic and genuine, especially viewed by the sister's interactions, the family situations, the language and early hints of desiring more freedoms from gender stigma for young people in those years. The songs are very memorable and melodious, I was impressed by the actress's and actor's vocal capability. The songs somehow sounded like they had Malay and Hollywood influences, but that's a good thing.

Even though this movie had its soap opera moments (frozen in place while waiting to be struck by vehicle, dramatic fights all because they love the same man, tearful excuses), they were never the ones that really irritated me because they were actually convenient to the plot.

And the modern cinema audience's reaction to the film really surprised me. I thought it was 'not cool' to watch black and white Indonesian movie, but we really managed to appreciate this movie that won the FFI prize in 1960. We were laughing, pouting in annoyance, and cheered to root for the characters. When the movie ended, the whole studio erupted in applause and even some them gave a standing ovation, as if congratulating Usmar Ismail for making this timeless gem.

Completely exceeds my expectations, and I, as a young generation, was but very enchanted by the magic of black and white cinema and thoroughly entertained by this masterpiece


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