“THE BIG SICK” = 8 ½
In a word: Deep
What happens when two people fall in love and their cultures collide, specifically American Christianity and Pakistani Islam? Watch this movie, it answers the question.
The story follows the plight of a young couple from two different worlds. Based in Chicago, Emily is a pert, bubbly graduate student who meets a handsome young Pakistani in a comedy club where he is testing his skills at stand-up. They work hard at avoiding a serious relationship but, alas their efforts fail and love blooms.
The two eventually face two major crises. Kumail, the young Pakistani, is very close to his family, who constantly pressure him to marry within the faith, often introducing him to marriage “prospects.” When his mother and father learn that he has fallen in love with an American, non-Muslim girl, Kumail is crushed between his love of her and the love/obligation to his demanding family.
Meanwhile, as all this erupts, Emily is suddenly struck with a life-threatening illness that requires her to be induced into a coma. This is when Kumail is pitted against her parents, traditional American folks who come to Chicago from another state. The challenges faced by all provide us all with a unique twist which is not common in movie-making these days. And, some of the resolutions each of the characters experience may be surprising. For certain, the movie will jerk a few tears as the ending nears.
Acting is very good, particularly by Zoe Kazan, who plays Emily, and by the Pakistani fellow whose real name is the same as his movie name, Kumail Nanjiani. One of our all-time favorites, Holly Hunter plays Emily’s mom.
Criticism? A couple of issues brought out in the story were never-again addressed or resolved, which leaves the viewer hanging a bit. And, that ubiquitous “F” word has become the prevailing adjective in movie dialogue no matter who is doing the talking. In this picture, it just seemed unnecessary. I know, I know. I’m an old fart, out of touch. (and “No” I won’t get over it.)
On the other hand, while the love and passion runs deep between the two main characters, the director (Sofia Coppola) found it unnecessary to display hot, overused sex scenes. We knew the two were hot for each other…the rest could be surmised. That was refreshing.
One more gripe: The movie title was stupid and non-attracting, and will probably be responsible for low turnouts at the box office. The director/producer should have thought of something more original.
In all, despite the unnecessary use of “F” bombs, it did not ruin this movie which could well be Oscar nominated. (Note: Rotten Tomatoes is probably the most prestigious review site for movies. They gave this movie a 97% approval rating. Very rare.)
I give it a 8 ½ out of 10.