Kumail Nanjiani as Kumail and Zoe Kazan as Emily in The Big Sick. Image Credit: Sarah Shatz.

Comedy generating buzz

Rick Davis says The Big Sick drawing rave reviews

The latest entry of 20th Century Fox’s Planet of the Apes franchise will be the number one movie this weekend and deservedly so say most film critics.

But another smaller budget movie being released this weekend is also worth talking about.

The Big Sick is an independent comedy co-written by the husband and wife team of Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, and is based upon their own relationship.

If you have never heard of Kumail Nanjiani, you may know him from TV shows like Franklin & Bash, Portlandia and Silicon Valley.

Emily V. Gordon started her career as a masters-level family therapist before becoming a TV writer and producer.

Kumail plays himself, a Pakistani comic who meets an American graduate student named Emily (played by Zoe Kazan) at one of his stand-up shows.

As their relationship blossoms, he soon becomes worried about what his traditional Muslim parents will think of her.

When Emily suddenly comes down with an illness that leaves her in a coma, Kumail finds himself developing a bond with her deeply concerned mother (Holly Hunter) and father (Ray Romano).

The reason why The Big Sick deserves attention is that ever since it premiered at The Sundance Film Festival, it has been winning over both critics and audiences and has a chance to be a sleeper hit.

It currently holds a 97 per cent “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has all the elements to make it a very memorable romantic comedy.

For all you film buffs out there, Zoe Kazan is the granddaughter of Elia Kazan, the groundbreaking film director of such classic films as A Streetcar Named Desire, On The Waterfront and East Of Eden.

She is not only becoming a notable actress both on stage and screen, but is also an accomplished playwright. Do yourself a favour and see this movie in the theatres.

As for War for the Planet of the Apes, it is the third movie in the hugely successful rebooted franchise that started with Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011.

The latest in thre reboot trilogy is set two years after the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes as Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless colonel (Woody Harrelson).

After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.

As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both of their species and the future of the planet.

What is notable about the series is the ability for the filmmakers to create true emotion from the computer-generated apes, with help from the motion capture performance of Serkis, who played Gollum in the The Lord Of The Rings.

It again brings up the discussion about how to reward Serkis’ performance when it is combined with the talents of the visual effects wizards come awards season.