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Moomal Rano – An Account of Jealousy, Anguish and Romance

Siraj-ul-Haq’s Moomal Rano is an adaptation of the popular Rajasthani and Sindhi folk-tale. The film’s story bounds itself around realistic affluence which might inspire us to an extent.

The screenplay writer Zafar Mairaj, has beautifully re-dramatized the entire story keeping the sensibilities of the contemporary audience in mind. He impresses us by conveying adventure, love and the bitter truth of our current reality seamlessly.

With a runtime of 80 minutes, Moomal Rano is a part of the ZEE5 film festival where films from prominent filmmakers of India and Pakistan are showcased. The movie takes us back to the time when we got to hear mesmerizing fairytales from our elders and  and we believed in it.

The sequences of events in the film unfold with an old man sitting with 2 children around him where he tells them the Sindhi folktale of Moomal and Rano. Both cousins, Moomal and Rano are separated from each other due to family issues. Moomal’s paternal aunt thinks it is best for Rano to grow-up away as she doesn’t want him to end up as a duty-bound slave.  Rano’s uncle, a strong follower of principles believes that the girls must be educated if they have the right skills and abilities in them. But, the family is so dysfunctional that anyone’s point of view/opinion always leads to an argument.

Ahsan Khan’s (Rano) documentary on Sufi-ism is shunned by his family as they fail to understand his vision as a filmmaker. In addition, his secret love for Moomal too ends facing strong opposition from his family due to the existing issues between them.  On the other hand, Moomal’s (Saba Qamar) secret collections of Rano’s images also prove that she has feelings for him.

Things get worst when Rano sets up a stage production for their local university. The inheritor cousin wants to marry Moomal, while his younger sister has her heart for Rano.

The film’s highlight is Saba Qamar who leaves us awestruck with her acting skills. Filmed back at the same time as Hindi Medium; her skills prove that she has the potential for the mainstream cinema. The male lead Ahsan Khan too shines in this intense romantic drama in equal measure.

On the technical front, the cinematography, screenplay, casting, edit, production designing, costumes, makeup and lighting work brilliantly together to add on to the charm of the film.

The filmmakers have done a smart job by not over advertising Sufi-ism and Sindhi culture in the short film. This has helped them to stick to the message that they wanted to convey through this film.

In short, director Siraj Ul Haq’s film takes us through a tale of love, traditions and rebellion that makes for an engaging watch.

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