Hi everyone, Bryan here….
The Film portion is written by Beka Perlstein:
If The Big Sick isn’t on your must see movie list, do yourself a favor and rewrite the list. This film is the real life love story of how actor/comedian Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) met his girlfriend and (spoiler alert) now wife, Emily Gordon. It’s not another Fault in Our Stars or Me Before You, it’s so much more than a love sick story. Behind the romantic comedy model is a story about a Pakistani immigrant who is struggling with identity, relationships, family, career and religion. To put it simply- he’s just trying to figure out this thing we call life.
Kumail plays himself, and if you’re a fan of Nanjiani’s work (Franklin and Bash, Portlandia, Silicon Valley), this is a real treat. While he is always an amazing supporting role, he takes center stage and shines. He is hilarious and warm and his jokes land in just the right spot. His smile lights up the screen and the way he conveys emotion as he deals with his family, illness and awkward situations is incredibly relatable. In addition to the love story, Kumail struggles with his stand up career and navigating his religious family who wants him to marry a Pakistani woman.
If you are from any sort of religious background the scenes with his parents will resonate. Last year my doctor hit on me in the middle of an exam. I left in shock and sent a group text to my parents. My father’s response was, “but is he Jewish?” Along the way Kumail’s desire to do what he wants as an assimilated American vs. what his Islamic parents want for him comes to a head. It’s so clear how much they love him and how hard it is to be a parent.
His relationship with his parents is paralleled beautifully with Emily’s (played by Zoe Kazan) relationship with her parents. Played by Ray Romano and Holly Hunter, they swoop in when Emily becomes sick and add depth, humor and passion to the film. In such different ways you see how zealously they love their child and yet don’t always know what’s best.
What I loved about this film was how it seemed to address the complexities that we all struggle with in a way that tugged at your heart strings and simultaneously evoked belly laughs. That’s the way life should be and director Michael Showalter (Wet Hot American Summer) perfectly captures these moments. It should be a dance between salty and sweet with the people you love and who love you back fiercely. It’s never going to just come together, and the minute it does it will probably fall apart. This film shows you that it’s fragile and faulty and nothing should ever be taken for granted. You can’t quit your family; you can’t forget where you came from; when you love someone-love out loud, and above all else- there’s always room for jokes.
The Video: The Big Sick comes with a good 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The overall image is very natural and not overly glossy. Detail is sharp and vivid throughout with excellent closeups that reveal individual beard hairs, scars, and makeup blemishes nicely. Textures in the clothing also stand out well here too. A lot of the film takes place in darker night clubs or at nighttime, which can hinder some of the detail, but it’s not a major issue. Wider shots never go soft and are always quite sharp, giving the movie some good depth. Colors are realistic and are on the warmer side of things with good oranges, reds, and yellows throughout. The quick shade of blue or green is always welcome too. Black levels are deep and inky and the skin tones are always natural. There were no problems with any aliasing, banding, or video noise either.
The Audio: This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and sounds great for a dialogue driven comedy-drama movie with no explosions or gun shots. This is more or less a front heavy audio mix, but the surrounds pick up in the comedy club scenes as well as the hospital scenes with people laughing, screaming, or other machines working in the background. Other sound effects, such as cars driving by and footsteps are quite good. The music of the film always adds to the emotional tone too. The dialogue is always clear and easy to follow, and free of any pops, cracks, hiss, and shrills.
Audio Commentary – Kumail Nanjiani, Emily Gordon, Michael Showalter, and Barry Mendel all give a fun and inviting commentary track that is full of real life stories, differences in the movie, praise for the actors, an d some technical specs. Definitely worth a listen.
A Personal Journey: The Making of The Big Sick (HD, 15 Mins.) – A ton of interviews with the cast and crew that plays like the standard EPK, but with more information and funny moments on making the film.
The Real Story (HD, 7 Mins.) – Kumail and Emily talk about the real life story their film is based on, which is how they met.
2017 SXSW Film Festival Panel (HD, 12 Mins.) – Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel, Kumail, and Emily all answer questions from their Austin Film Festival panel.
The Big Sick: The Other Stuff (HD, 4 Mins.) – Some funny moments that acts as a gag reel and funny scenes of dialogue not included in the film.
The Bigger Sick: Stick Around for More Laughs (HD, 11 Mins.) – This is a fun and hilarious extra that documents the cast and crew touring the nation with their film.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 10 Mins.) – A collection of deleted scenes that are all worth watching, but don’t add a ton to the overall direction of the plot.
THE ULTIMATE WORD
The Big Sick is one of the BEST films of the year. It’s funny, tragic, heartwarming, and full of heart, love, and soul. Kumail and Zoe Kazan are exceptionally good here as is Holly Hunter and Ray Romano in every scene. This is one of those films you can watch everyday for the rest of your life and never get tired of it. The video and audio presentations are both good and there are some great bonus features to boot too.