The Incredibles are back with a new adventure. In this second instalment Mr and Mrs Incredible (Parr) combine family life with disaster
Image supplied by Ster Kinekor
prevention and advocating for the rights of superheroes. This time around it’s Helen Parr (Elastigirl) who brings home the bacon, while hubby, Bob, stays home to look after the kids. The latter is exhausting for Bob as he deals with teenage angst from Violet, homework challenges with Dash, and the emerging superhero talents of baby Jack-Jack. Helen begins work for a superhero advocate but is soon up against a dodgy ‘screenslaver’ who hypnotizes goodies into doing his (or her?) bidding. When both Mr and Mrs Incredible get into an impossible situation it’s up to Violet , Dash and Jack-Jack to set things right.
Themes of women’s rights, stay-at-home dads, children’s contributions in an adult world, and overuse of screen time run throughout this Pixar animated feature which is as much for adults as it is for children. Edna Mode, the inimitable superhero fashion designer, makes another marvellous appearance.
Incredibles 2 opens at cinemas in South Africa today 15 June 2018.
The Big Sick is a partially biographic drama about a relationship across cultural
barriers. Kumail (played by himself, Kumail Nanjiani) is a Pakistani Muslim living in the USA. He is a taxi driver and aspiring comedian whose family expects him to become a lawyer and marry a good Pakistani girl. But Kumail continues to pursue stand-up comedy, and he starts a romantic relationship with Emily (Zoe Kazan), a white American girl from a fairly traditional family. Conflict ensues.
On the one hand it is Kumail’s own ‘Americanisation’ that clashes with his family’s traditional demands regarding culture, profession and religion. On the other, when Emily becomes gravely ill and is put into an induced coma, the battle moves to that between Kumail and Emily’s parents. In the latter scenario the white American prejudice against Middle Eastern Muslim is brought to the fore.
The Big Sick is told from an American perspective. It is free choice and self-actualisation that wins out in the end. Score for Westernisation. But, equally, in this film shallow American prejudice against ‘the other’ is subverted. A typical view of fanatic Muslims is undermined, mostly through the use of humour. For example, when Kumail is sent to the basement to do his ritual prayers he watches videos instead. And when Kumail’s mother banishes him from the family for pursuing a forbidden relationship, she struggles to keep up her angry façade, sending him cookies while at the same time refusing to speak to him.
The best part about The Big Sick is the relationships. That between Kumail and his family (which remains loving and gentle despite the differences), between Kumail and Emily (which is a bantering, natural relationship), and between Kumail and Emily’s parents (in which humour breaks down the barriers). The real feel of the Kumail/Emily romance may be because the story is biographical.
The Big Sick is a warm, funny, humanly complex and very watchable film. It opens at cinemas in South Africa on 6 October 2017.