Interracial marriages can be a very complicated affair and that’s why sometimes it can be a great source of humor. The Big Sick is about a Pakistani stand-up comedian who is trying not just to win the hearts of her American girlfriend’s parents but also his girlfriend itself after a terrible breakup.
We were quite excited about this movie from the trailer that looked pretty impressive and promised a good laugh. The movie delivers as well. Good screenplay and direction keep the highly predictable movie interesting till the end.
Kumail Nanjiani is a Pakistani stand-up comedian, relocated to the US with his family when he was 18. While he’s busy building his career in stand up comedy, he gets involved with Emily Gordon, a grad student. And with all this, he’s also managing his family that is very traditional and has a certain set of expectations from him in terms of career and marriage. In an interesting turn of events, he finds himself in front of Emily’s parents while she is in a medically induced coma due to a mysterious illness. With his own relationship in jeopardy at that time, he has to win the hearts of her parents as well as salvage his relationship. The movie is about his interactions with her parents, cutting across the cultural differences and understanding the person underneath the outer appearance. At the same time, he also has to deal with his family who is still very much in Pakistan at heart, family dinners that almost always ends up in Kumail meeting a potential bride of his parents’ choice. The story is well written, especially the screenplay that was critical to keep a highly predictable movie interesting. Nothing is rushed through, especially the build up of Kumail and Emily’s relationship.
The movie saw some decent performances from the lead cast with few good patches, especially from Holly Hunter. I won’t remember this movie for it’s acting though. I guess very few actors get to play himself or herself for an entire movie. And even though it may seem easy, it’s not, because real life isn’t so dramatic. Kumail does well although it seemed like a tad bit of awkwardness in a couple of dramatic scenes. Just like Emily’s role, he should have had a professional actor for his character. Zoe Kazan, playing Emily, was good. Holly Hunter, playing Emily’s mother, was particularly impressive, especially in the intense scenes. Ray Romano was good in a role of protective yet open minded father.
Michael Showalter impresses with his direction. The length and the pace of the movie are very well managed to keep it interesting, although there are minor dull patches. The conversations between Kumail and Emily’s parents – the heart of the movie – have been beautifully captured. He did a good job in projecting the confusions of Asian kids who grow up in the US, balancing between the two cultures to stay relevant at both the ends.
It is very much watchable – especially for the good screenplay and the direction. A good movie to watch when you are in a mood to relax and have a couple of laughs