Monday, November 26, 2007

Outsourced: Grade B

Outsourced (2006)
Josh Hamilton, Ayesha Dharker. Co-writer and Director John Jeffcoat.

In this charming indie, a Seattle call center manager (Hamilton) is forced to go to India to train his own replacement when the whole call center is outsourced. We follow his learning curve as he encounters every culture-shock cliché, from stomach cramps to understanding the Indian English accent. He quickly adapts and is successful putting together an all-Indian call center that meets American specs. While overcoming a succession of tribulations he has a fleeting romance with an Indian employee (Dharker). The ethical implications of that are not explored. The issue of outsourcing is handled with kid gloves on a ten foot pole. It is made out to be not so bad, really.

Without a political message or serious romance, what remains is a mildly comic, cross-cultural exploration whose lack of pretension makes it delightful and actually informative. For anyone who has traveled in India beyond the international hotels, each scene brings a knowing smile, although the humor is never disrespectful of either culture. The acting is compelling across the whole cast. The script has a sharp observational wit. The music, all original compositions, is quite enjoyable if you have an ear for Indian music. The cinematography fills the four corners of the screen with color. Although it is a lightweight film, the director is successful in conveying the sense that despite cultural differences “we are all family,” and that’s what makes the film satisfying.

No comments:

Post a Comment