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There is a specific racialized, gendered violence against all the women of colour in this film that is scary.
A pivotal moment in the movie is when Emily, who is told nothing about Kumail’s family beforehand, finds a box of photos of the women with whom Kumail’s parents are trying to arrange his marriage.
The white man sitting behind us, whose wife had shushed us before the movie started, laughed gutturally throughout the film.
This is a white liberal’s wet dream: permission from a Muslim to despise Muslims.
On the one hand, this was a classic white attempt to silence Black and brown women’s joy for no reason at all, and on the other, this was perfect poetic foreshadowing.
In an early scene, Emily heckles Kumail while he is performing.
Emily’s parents make an overtly racist comment to Kumail about 9/11 the first time they meet, and this is overlooked completely.
The mother is even given a scene later in the movie during which she comes to Kumail’s defense when he is being racially heckled at one of his shows – some kind of white redemption narrative. In one unnecessary scene, when Emily has woken from the coma, she lies in bed getting her hair stroked by her mother in yet another big screen depiction of the Unbreakable Tenderness of White Women, while we can only guess that Kumail’s mother is at home making 100 curries, and cursing the day he was born in a very strong but generic Indian accent.
They are presented as funny, kooky, good-hearted, protective of their daughter, caring, vulnerable and multi-faceted.
We learn about their history, how they met, what they like, what they don’t like, how they feel about and relate to their daughter and their changing feelings about Kumail.
He then approaches her, who is with a brown woman friend, after the show.