When Monaliza Smiled: smoothes the hardship of reality with the tenderness of love

When Monaliza Smiled – Jordanian Movie

When Monaliza Smiled, we smiled.

Many familiar faces attended the private screening of the new Jordanian romantic comedy “When Monaliza Smiled” film yesterday at the Royal Film Commission yesterday. Faces that included many well known bloggers, online faces, and young talents involved in the local films scene.

The film that is set to hit local theaters soon is another major milestone that highlights the emergence of a dream to create a film industry in Jordan. The film industry which is still at its infancy, has no pre-set formulas, no expectations and no previous success stories to copy. All what it has is some very well trained and talented young Jordanians who are courageous enough to take on the challenge of doing their own experimentations and carve the stone for generations to come.

That what makes this film unique in many ways.

It is VERY much “Jordanian”. A love story that builds comical situations on highlighting stereotypes in this country with a romantic lens that gives a “feel good” to the whole experience. It smoothes the hardship of reality with the tenderness of love. A glimpse of light that brought hope back to my heart knowing that no matter how social restrictions grow, humanity will always find a place for love and happiness.

Ironically the cheerful part of the film came from the Egyptian worker main character. He added an Egyptian edge that reminded us of how much we love Misr. A bridge that was smartly (not sure if intentionally) built between the infant Jordanian film industry and that well established historical Egyptian film legacy.

The brief black and white scenes reminded us of the good old days. It made me wish to see a full Jordanian film that reflects that era of time that we missed here. What would a romantic story that reflects the 60’s or 70’s in Jordan looks like? Seems like Fadi Haddad, the director, is good at bringing out the beauty of that era of time. It would be a great project if he ever decided to pursue it. The art you see in those scenes is admirable.

When Monaliza Smiled didn’t just build a bridge between the Jordanian and the Egyptian films, but also between the old generation of talented local actors and the new young one. Watch out of a brilliant role for Nadera Omran, one of the funniest characters in the film which will make your tears come out of laughing!

I can’t help but to mention that both the producer and the executive producer of this film are women. Hats off to Nadia Eliwat and Nadine Toukan for taking on this challenge and contribute with this milestone that help establishing Jordan as a film making hub.

Jordanian film makers have a new hope now..

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  1. A Jordanian movie that does not involve people living in the desert wearing “3gal”, and no the old cliche “Awwad 7arag el-masna3!!”… I can’t believe my eyes!!


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