The Big Sick is a Romantic Comedy from Michael Showalter that shocks the audience with its tensely gripping scenes. There hasn’t been much press about this awkwardly comedic picture, however, it deserves all of our attention. This picture gives the general public a refreshing break from the action packed flicks from DC and Marvel and allow viewers to revel in their emotions for a change.
The Big Sick follows Kumail (played by himself) as an aspiring stand-up comedian, performing in a small comedy club in modern day Chicago. During one of his performances, Kumail meets Emily (played by Zoe Kazan) and the two start a budding romance. During this time Kumail’s family are trying to arrange him a marriage, in-line with the family’s culture. Stuck between his family/culture and true love, Kumail is forced to make a tough decision before Emily falls life-threateningly ill and the story continues from there.
Kumail’s decision is fuelled by his fear of his controlling mother “ghosting” him – and ultimately kicking him out of the family. Throughout the film we see Kumail’s mother, Sharmeen (played by Zenobia Shroff) take the reins and assert herself as head of the household, over Kumail’s father, Azmat (played by Anupam Kher). Despite the couple having an arranged marriage, they appear to be very much in love and running a successful family.
On the other hand, we meet Emily’s parents, Terry (played by Ray Romano) and Beth (played by Holly Hunter) who are going through a rocky patch in their love marriage. Similarly to Kumail’s parents, Emily’s mother wears the trousers. The difference in the relationship between Kumail and Emily’s parents left me thinking, what kind of marriage works better – arranged or love? A question I am sure was intended by Showalter.
The movie took several tense turns throughout its story, which shocked me because the overall vibe of the film is very sarcastic. I think the cast and Michael Showalter did an excellent job of creating such tense scenes amongst all the comedy. The character development was subtle yet effective. The score complemented the set well and the physical motif of the comedy club gave the viewer a safe haven from the emotional drama of the surrounding world.
This movie is based on the story of its co-writers, Nanjiani and his real-life wife Emily V Gordon – both are comedians. The actual film doesn’t break any conventions or reinvent any wheels, it also kind of lacks controversy, and I feel the producer could have pushed the boat out a bit further with this one. Overall I enjoyed this film and I think it’s one of the better mid-budget films we will get this year.
Director: Michael Showalter
Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupam Kher and Zenobia Shroff