Monday, November 03, 2008
Movie Review: Outsourced
While this movie was entertaining, it was also eye-opening. I learned a lot of things about the Indian culture that moved me. Outsourced is a modern day comedy of cross-cultural conflict and romance. Todd Anderson (Josh Hamilton) spends his days managing a customer call center in Seattle until his job, along with those of the entire office, are outsourced to India. Adding insult to injury, Todd must travel to India to train his new replacement. As he navigates through the chaos of Bombay and an office paralyzed by constant cultural misunderstandings, Todd yearns to return to the comforts of home. But it is through his team of quirky yet likable Indian call center workers, including his friendly and motivated replacement, Puro (Asif Basra), and the charming, opinionated Asha (Ayesha Dharker), that Todd realizes that he too has a lot to learn - not only about India and America, but about himself. He soon discovers that being outsourced may be the best thing that ever happened to him.
Some of the scenes that were touching was a discussion that happened in the call center where Americans were training Indian's to sound American. Asha asked a question of why can't Indian's be themselves? After all, the products they are ordering are made in China with a big fat label on the box that says so.
Another scene that was touching was when Todd ventured outside of his hotel to meet a poor family. He walked down the street with a very poor but otherwise very proud gentleman who brought him to his home. His grandmother pulled out a plate and put one scoop of Basmati rice with a little sauce and a Roti. She didn't have much but didn't mind sharing it with an American.
Sometimes us American's lose sense of how the rest of the world lives. While I have relatives in poor countries, they have all managed to lift themselves and I too have forgoten. This reminded me to be just a little bit more human to those in need.
One of the more intriguing scenes was with Todd hooked up with Asha who was engaged to marry an Indian man where she fell in love but decided to follow tradition. The act of balancing love and culture was especially touching. It does make me curious how many Indian women dream of having a holiday in Goa with American men...
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