The Big Sick
The Big Sick: A Realistic, Contemporary and Humorous Film
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
The Big Sick is a delightful amalgamation of genres that are quite hard to put together. A splash of humor is thrown on a melodramatic premise, making it easy for the audiences to view intense situations in a light-hearted manner. This premise makes for a story that isn’t overly attached or completely detached either. It is a perfect blend of humor, romance and subtle drama.
The Big Sick is based on Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V Gordon’s real life story. Kumail, a standup comedian struggles to make a steady income. At one of his regular gigs, he runs into a charming customer Emily, who returns his flirtations quite instantaneously. Just when the couple starts to take their relationship to a serious level, she discovers that Kumail hasn’t told his parents about their relationship. This almost breaks them apart and before they receive a chance to get past their argument, a frightening incident puts Emily in a comatose stage. Life after this terrifying incident and the questions surrounding their situation forms the remainder of the plot.
You might think such a deeply reflective story might not bear any scope for humor. But going against this tide to create effortless humor in a solemn plot is where writers Nanjiani and Gordon win big. Their earnestness in delivering an unbiased view of some of the most intricate moments of their lives is what draws you to this film. Light and heavy moments in the film work majorly due to the honesty they’ve lent to the script.
Considering the kind of romantic comedies Hollywood has been dishing out of late, The Big Sick proves that the genre still has ample of surprising elements left for a mighty revival. The fact that the film is effortlessly comical and increasingly heart-warming without ever trying too hard, works in its favor.
The Big Sick not only transcends across cultural borders, it also bears references to racism as it gradually breaks free of religious stereotyping. It does all this while staying away from loud and clichéd cultural inferences. This is why the plot is both relatable and endearing.
Director Michael Showalter has to be applauded for the way he has distinguishably handled such a challenging screenplay. A story involving melodrama, dark humor and romance requires tactful handling and the director does that and more. He helps you find light in many hard-hitting situations.
Like any other film, The Big sick too has its fair share of flaws. Though Nanjiani is hilarious most of the times, sometimes his jokes fall flat. Emily’s family was covered quite organically but that sort of barrier-breaking detailing went missing with the Nanjiani’s family. I for one would’ve loved to see more of his family to know their rhythm better.
The Big Sick boasts of a stellar cast. Playing himself, Kumail Nanjiani pulls through with impeccable timing and spontaneity most of the times. Hopefully, this film opens more doors for the talented actor. Zoe Kazan steals Nanjiani’s thunder with her acting prowess. Her charming and strong portrayal of Emily Gordon is an image that will remain unfazed in the minds of viewers.
A film like The Big Sick not only has its heart in the right place, it also helps us view things with an open mind. It is realistic, humorous, contemporary and romantic without the slightest bit of self-indulgence. Just for these wondrous qualities, you should watch the film.