Cast: Rani, Shahid, Zamurrad, Aasiya, Mumtaz, Rangeela, Lehri, Ladla,Imdad Hussain, Nayyar Sultana, Tamanna, Talat Siddiqi, Allauddin and Talish.
Madam Noor Jehan, Runa Laila, Irene Perveen, Ahmad Rushdi.
For many in Pakistan, this is a film famous for its haunting songs. To some, it was a film that brought an average, good-looking actress a dream role that fetched her a national best actress award.
"Umrao Jaan" did not create ripples among most critics when it was made because the story line revolving around a singer/dancer who sells her body was old hat for most Urdu filmgoers. What made "Umrao Jaan" stand out? It was the director Hassan Tariq flash-in-the-pan directorial effort. But good direction does not come merely in dealing with actors. The composition of each frame, taking three objects in perspective (faces, chandeliers, minarets, etc..) and juggling with the one, two, or three objects for composition within the frame brought a maturity to cinematography rarely seen. This is a film to be enjoyed by sight and sound--not merely at the level of the story. This is probably why twenty years after it was made the film attracts audiences as it did before. It has stood the test of time.
The screenplay was well written and mature in comparison to most Urdu films. Melodrama was reigned in, yet music and song held sway. The melancholy thread in the film is developed right up to the dried leaves in the final scenes knitting together a very feminist tragedy by a male director. In many respects, this film was a major movie from Pakistan in the Eighties, on par with the efforts of some of the more notable directors from abroad.
Umraoo Jaan Ada (Pakistani film)