THE BIG SICK STORY: Kumail Nanjiani(Kumail Nanjiani) is a Pakistani cab driver and an aspiring comedian who is instantly drawn to American student Emily Gordon(Zoe Kazan) who he bumps into at a bar in Chicago. But, his parents want him to be a good Muslim and marry a Pakistani. And therein lies the conflict or at least some of it …
THE BIG SICK REVIEW: Michael Showalter’s drama is based on the real-life romantic track of the protagonist (Kumail who plays himself) and the gori he ultimately marries. And the script (co-written by Kumail and Emily) has many laugh-out-loud moments. Their initial dates, where the couple talks of keeping it casual are fun to watch. As is the scene in which you’re introduced to Kumail’s family. The banter at Nanjianis’ suburban Chicago home with his parents Azmat (Anupam Kher) and Sharmeen (Zenobia Shroff), is delightful. Like most immigrants, they’ve made America their home, but Pakistan still resides in their hearts. Typically they encourage their son to pray to Allah and even organize a daily parade of eligible young Pakistani-American women for him to choose his bride from.
Kumail who fears that he’ll be osctracised doesn’t tell his parents about his American girlfriend. Nor does he give in to Emily’s request of having dinner with her parents—Terry (Ray Romano) and Beth (Holly Hunter) who are visiting from North Carolina. This is when Emily decides to call off their relationship. But fate wills otherwise. When she lands up in hospital, Kumail who takes charge of the situation also comes to terms with how deeply he cares for her.
Self-deprecatory humour keeps the mood alive through and through. Be it a mention of the ISIS or Terry’s wish to talk with a Muslim about the 9/11 attacks, everything provides a `good’ laugh.
Kumail’s cowardice in not telling his parents that he is dating a non-Muslim and his initial terse interactions with Emily’s parents in the hospital are both funny and emotional.
As far as performances go, Ray and Holly lead the way; Anupam Kher is adept and Kumail with his mostly-comic expressions passes muster. The film lacks the vitality of My Big Fat Greek Wedding and other such romcoms. It could also do with a 10-minute shorter run. But there is no taking away from the fact that this smart comedy is an ideal monsoon getaway.