Friday, 1 September 2017

Film Review: The Big Sick

All the crap weather we've had this week and will probably continue to have for the rest of the week #optimist reallyyy draws a line under the fab bank holiday weekend that was, last weekend! Mine was filled with good food, friends, fab music and top films.

I saw The Big Sick in an offensively expensive independent cinema so you now, stakes were high because I was like already a bit pissed off going in. And it didn't disappoint! It's been a hot minute since I saw a good rom-com and this film has made its way onto my all time favourite list.

The film's writer Kumail Nanjiani plays a younger version of himself, a struggling comedian and part time Uber driver living in Chicago. He was raised in a traditional Pakistani Muslim family who at this stage of his life, are trying to arrange a marriage for him. There are these really funny scenes pretty much throughout the film, where women "spontaneously" turn up for dinner at Kumail's family home,  just "passing through the neighbourhood" as his mum puts it. He does seem to separate this part of his life from his life as a comedian . During one his shows, he's heckled by Emily (played by Zoe Kazan) a woman in the audience. Long story short, they hook up, begin to date and not before long, fall in love. This all comes crashing down when Emily realises that Kumail is not prepared to a. meet her family or b. tell his family about her - scared that they'd disapprove and disown him.

A few days after they break up, Emily's rushed into hospital and put in a medically induced coma and suddenly, Kumail has to face his biggest fears all at once:  his two worlds colliding, meeting her parents and, the prospect that he can't live without her.

The Big Sick is a really sharp comedy in the way it navigates  that strange dichotomy of being raised at home in one culture and growing up in another. Issues surrounding family, love, personal identity and health are conjured, giving us a film that slips into being quite serious and intense at times, yet always underlined with a sense of warmth thanks to the top performances of its two leads: Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan. Kazan is at her best here, she's funny, vulnerable and smart, has a quiet confidence, all rolled into one. But as she's in a coma for a good chunk of the film, I'd say it's  very much Nanjiani's story. After all, he's the one who has to navigate these social and cultural barriers.

The film also gives a really measured portrayal of arranged marriages. While it's clear from the onset that its not for Kumail, we still see two really positive portrayals of successful, loving relationships in Kumail's brother and sister in law, and his parents - both of whom had been arranged. It just goes to show again why diversity in the industry is so important. Writers of colour, writing about their own experiences, telling their own stories, are the only way we as an audience, can trust that these are told faithfully !

Go watch this film, it'll make your heart burst with - it's that good ♡



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