Sunday, August 03, 2008

Outsourced


Rating : 5/10
Running Time : 103 Minutes
Release Date : Nov ‘07
Director & Co-Writer : John Jeffcoat ; Co-Writer : George Wing ;
Starring : Josh Hamilton, Ayesha Dharker, Asif Basra


Its clich├ęd, its corny but nice. Josh Hamilton plays Todd, a nice American guy who’s hard-nosed boss sends him to India to train the new outsourced order fulfillment department. When he gets there, things are a bit of a disaster – accent, understanding of American small talk, the numbers (MPI’s, the amount of time taken to fulfill the order), understanding of the items sold (cheesy American souvenier items like the bald eagle etc) – everything is a mess…And the catch is that he cant return to America till the MPI is down to 6 minutes from its current 12.

Todd, or Toad as he’s called by everyone, is finding things difficult. He’s alone, in a strange land, surrounded by people who cant really understand him. Things are beginning to get to him when, in a chance encounter he meets another American who gives him some friendly advice…to give in to India, don’t try to resist it…things will then happen much more easily…And the funny thing is, it does…I wont bore you with the details but things start to take a turn for the better and he enjoys some unique Indian experiences including a downpour which floods the office, a misplaced shipment, Holi and a figurative ‘holiday in Goa’.

Amongst the key characters in the movie is Ayesha Dharker playing Asha, one of the girls in the call center, who asks a lot of questions and also boldly suggests that Todd learn about India before he tries to teach them about America. Another key one is Purohit or Puru, the person who is designated to replace Todd as manager, the man who will earn half a million a year (rupees, as Todd’s boss laughs and tells him), on the basis of which he was able to get engaged to a girl he loved since childhood. And finally, there is Todd's landlady, who breathlessly asks him 6 questions within a minute of meeting him.

It was a nice, easy watch. Not too disparaging or making too much fun of India or America, just passing a comment or two on how different the two cultures really are. For example, how Todd can live two hours away from his parents but only visits them 4-5 times a year. Or how educated, progressive Indian girls can still choose arranged marriage, where they get married to guys they don’t love (yet). Its funny at times, bittersweet at others, its east meets west. Its predictable but not to the point of distraction. Worth a watch, if only to learn more about the ‘monkey pulls a turnip’ position…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your review says that the movie is worth a watch.. Will surely watch it sometime soon.. I have a list which reads must watch based on your review.. Hoping I will enjoy them too.Thank You- Bee