The makers of the movie “When Monaliza Smiled” presented their cinema experience to the public in a special screening in the Jordanian capital, Amman, recently. The comedy relates a love story between Monaliza, a young Jordanian woman, and Hamdi, the Egyptian courier. It is presented in parallel with other side stories, which reveal the multitude of Amman's layers that have still not been shown in Jordanian movies.
Without giving too much away, the film tells the tale of a young Jordanian woman named Monaliza who falls in love with an Egyptian office boy, Hamdi. But to cast this as just another love story would be a mistake, for beyond the layers is a woman struggling to free herself from societal pressures, gain independence, escape an impoverished status quo, and find the kind of happiness that could finally draw a smile from her ordinarily resolute face.
Fadi Zaghmout also comments on the movie in his blog “The Arab Observer”:
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 experimentation and carve the stone for generations to come.ا
Naser for his part tackles the movie from another angle. His blog post is entitled “When Monaliza Smiled and Nayfe Cried.” He writes:
On Twitter, producer Nadia Eleiwat who produced the movie using her own resources, said:
Ola Eliwat praises the movie's music:
@ola_eliwat: And by the way, amazing music!
Hazem Zuraikat is also in awe:
Reem al Masri also shares this opinion:
@reemalmasri: Soooooo PROUD of “When Monaliza Smiled” for taking film production in #JO to another level. Cant wait to c it in cinemas