The Big SickSundance London 2017
With the themes that The Big Sick explores it could easily fall into the trap of being an average romantic comedy that provides laughs and leaves no real impact. Instead, through various elements coming together perfectly this is a film with genuine heart about more than just a love affair between two people. Michael Showalter shows himself to be a talented first-time director, perfectly articulating the real-life love story between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V Gordon (Zoe Kazan). The honesty of the writer couple’s relationship shines through, and the playful chemistry between Nanjiani and Kazan is a joy to watch.
After Emily falls ill the audience welcomes her parents, Beth (Holly Hunter) and Terry (Ray Romano), who add another complex layer to the plot. The development of the relationship between the couple and Nanjiani creates an interesting dynamic, while allowing the script to deal with serious topics with a light and humoured touch. The dialogue manages to articulate different emotions throughout the film, combining together to be the perfect level of bittersweet.
While focusing on the central romance the narrative also takes the time to explore the complexities of a diasporic identity, seen through Nanjiani and his relationship with his parents. We see him question “the rules” that he has been expected to live by: to marry a Pakistani girl and to be a practising Muslim. This inquisitive nature is something that comes from having the two influences of both the Pakistani culture and Western environment; seeing the character question his religion and culture is interesting, and allows deeper themes to be explored.
Although The Big Sick does fall into some of the traditional romcom clichés it is still an entertaining depiction of a new couple having to deal with the pitfalls of what life throws at them, against the backdrop of exploring what it means to be a first-generation immigrant in America.
The Big Sick is released nationwide on 28th July 2017.
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Watch the trailer for The Big Sick here: