The Big Sick is essentially a true story put into movie form for people to enjoy and for the most part it was successful. The idea of two people from such different cultures getting together, particularly when one culture is very much into arranged marriages for their children, is something that doesn’t seem to pan out all the time. But in the story the individuals involved do come to understand and at least accept one another after a time as the idea that people can’t meet and fall in love rather than just accept who they’re being paired with is something that many of us in the US simply don’t understand. The freedom to follow your heart no matter how much it might hurt others is something that weighs heavily on many people, but following your heart tends to be the most direct path to happiness at times, so long as you realize the sacrifices that need to be made.
Here are a few things you might not have known about the film.
10. Kumail Nanjiani and Adeel Akhtar are the only two individuals in the film that are Pakistani.
Everyone else that is supposed to be Pakistani are in fact Indian, though a lot of folks in the US obviously can’t tell the difference, though it might be subtle or very pronounced depending on the individuals.
9. Kumail was really trying to avoid the stereotype that all Muslims are serious and stodgy people.
There was a good deal of humor in this film that seemed ill-placed at times, but overall it was done in order to show that in many other cultures humor is just as universal as it can be since it’s a great device to use in certain situations that might seem a bit too serious or might need to be alleviated by a bit of laughter.
8. There was a bidding war to see who would gain the distribution rights to the film.
Initially Netflix was one of those that wanted to purchase the distributing rights but Kumail wanted to see the film on the big screen so that kind of eliminated Netflix since all of their movies go straight to the site. But Amazon, who has seen their movies go to the big screen, were quick to pick up the slack.
7. It only took three hours to find funding for the movie.
The company that decided to fund the movie even went so far as to lend it without any strings attached. That shows a lot of belief that the movie could be made into something worthwhile and possibly a film that many people would flock to.
6. The script took about three years to write.
As a writer this seems like a long, long time to write something that might take a good month to piece together and then perhaps another two to three months to really refine into something that might work on the big screen. It seems fair to state that a year or more would be a lot of time to simply nitpick over minor details.
5. Holly Hunter made it a habit to arrange props on the set to get herself into character.
Some actors do a lot of things to get into their character and some don’t do anything at all. Holly Hunter has for a long time been the kind of actor that seems to get into her roles fully and doesn’t take anything halfway. It seems that this would be kind of an odd quirk, but not one that would be disruptive at least.
4. This was Kumail’s first lead role in a film.
For this being his first lead role he did a great job and it was something that shows that he can actually act in such a capacity. Perhaps we’ll start seeing him take the lead in a few more films as the years go by.
3. The director encouraged improvisation during the film.
In some ways improv can kill a film since it leaves everyone on the set wondering what’s going to come next as they’re forced to simply adapt and act in a very wooden and stiff fashion as uncertainty creeps in. But if the actors are on point and able to roll with whatever comes it can create a very interesting and lively situation that can give the audience a very entertaining film.
2. One difference in the film is that Kumail’s mother in real life never disowned him.
She was quite angry with him apparently but didn’t unload that anger until after Emily had recovered. There is a great deal of pride bound up in some cultures and when it’s assaulted by the actions of one person people tend to get a little bent out of shape.
1. There was a lot of tension between Kumail and Emily in real life.
The most tension came when Emily found the pictures of other women in his room and wondered just what was going on. That however would cause tension in a lot of relationships no doubt.
The movie is worth watching if you’re into romantic comedies with plenty of drama.