Saturday, October 06, 2007

FILM: Outsourced

Saw a charming film this evening called Outsourced. As the title suggests, the story begins with Todd Anderson, a Seattle-based manager of a direct sales call center whose staff gets laid off, and he gets shipped off to India to train his replacement. The story turns on Todd's adventures in learning about India, as he tries to get his new staff of Indians to learn about America. The company sells tacky items like Uncle Sam and red-white-blue eagle statuettes, or as Todd says to his new manager-trainee, "we sell American kitsch to rednecks", which of course immediately leads to inquiries about "what is kitsch?" and "what are rednecks?". The movie has a lot of fun with the cultural discovery theme, and has a scenic eyeful of Indian life, showing both the beauty and the disparities. Josh Hamilton does a nice job of the initially overwhelmed and frustrated American, who eventually wakes up to the beauty around him. An outspoken telemarketer named Asha (Ayesha Dharker) has a lot to do with his eventual epiphany, but Todd learns something from everyone around him, including the street urchin who keeps stealing his cell phone. I really enjoyed going along on this journey.

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