Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Big Sick

On the recommendation of one of my Uber riders last week, I decided to check out The Big Sick, starring Kumail Najiani, Ray Romano, and Holly Hunter. I've been a fan of Kumail's for some time, mostly because of his dry sarcastic sense of humor and his show Silicon Valley, which is essentially the Portlandia for the high tech sector.

Kumail plays himself, and the film follows the story of how he met his wife Emily. If you don't know the story, you'd think it would be a lighthearted Rom-Com. But it's actually a little heavier. Less comedy and more drama, the story plays out about how they met, and about the serious illness that almost claimed Emily's life. It's an endearing tale of humanity, how in times of crises we step up to the plate to be there for the ones we care about the most.

I couldn't help but find the parallel. When I was a kid, my mother suffered from several severe, life-threatening illnesses. Much of my childhood was spent in hospital rooms visiting her, and having to constantly adjust my life so I could be there for her. 

What the film did best (for me) was to show how vastly different the perspectives are from the points of view of the sick and the caretakers. By caretakers I mean the family, the loved ones who take the time to make the time to be there for the sick, never expecting any reward for themselves except the renewed health of the sick and the hope that life will go back to normal when the sick recover.

When you're the sick, there is nothing more comforting than to know that you have loved ones who are there for you, that you are not alone. Sometimes it can be overwhelming when you're sick, to have to deal with the feelings you may have that you are burdening your caretakers, or that life is passing you by, which is why if you find yourself in a caretaker position, that you make the decision to be there unconditionally. There is no payoff, no quid pro quo when someone's life is on the line.

I recommend The Big Sick with five stars.