The Big Sick review by Bobby Blakey
I am a big fan of those films that kind of come out of nowhere and offer up something so much more than you might think. The latest comes from director Michael Showalter that most fans know from the Wet Hot American Summer franchise and stars Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Ray Romano, Holly Hunter, with Nanjiani also serving as the writer and real life subject of the film. Could this film offer up something more than just another comedy or will it be a disease not worth curing?
The Big Sick follows Kumail, in the middle of becoming a budding stand-up comedian, who meets Emily. Meanwhile, a sudden illness sets in forcing Emily to be put into a medically-induced coma. Kumail must navigate being a comedian, dealing with tragic illness, and placating his family's desire to let them fix him up with a spouse, while contemplating and figuring out who he really is and what he truly believes. This film not only offers up plenty of laughs, but also multiple layers of story that delves into numerous real life issues. Initially you are given a story arc following the budding career and relationship he starts with this young woman all while dealing with the frustration of his families tradition or arranged marriage. This offers up an interesting story of culture clash that sets the tone to his journey once she falls unexpectedly ill.
Throughout the rest of the film it shifts the focus of him not only dealing with the same issues, but now his own personal shortcomings and bonding with her parents leading to more questions of his and their future than really answers. Nanjiani is one of those actors that is always really funny, but here he is given more to chew on with both the laughs and drama and he executes both to perfection. It likely helped that this followed true events in his life which was yet another surprise for me after viewing. It clearly states on the synopsis and box cover, but I clearly didn’t pay attention so when it ended it was all the better knowing this journey actually happened. The rest of the cast are all great as well, but this is really Nanjiani’s show all the way.
I don’t want to give a lot of details away about the story outside of the synopsis because it is one of those you should watch to enjoy it unfolding for a better experience. I do want to give props to one actress that got the biggest laugh from me who I believe is Kuhoo Verma. They play her X-Files joke in the trailer, but it made me laugh out loud while watching the movie and hope to see more of her in other stuff in the future. I figured I was going to enjoy this film, but was really surprised how much more it had to offer than just your average comedy.