“Outsourced.” – DVD Review.

By Jason Tanamor

4 Stars:

When Todd (Josh Hamilton - Alive, Kicking and Screaming) finds out his job and department are being outsourced to India, he realizes that he is essentially going to train his replacement for far less money than he is making. At first, Todd is reluctant to go. There is a short verbal standoff with his boss, followed by silence, and what ensues is an amusing and smart story about the differences between America and India, not only socially, but culturally.



Upon arrival, Todd begins to see how different India really is. From the economic infrastructure to the loss of translation, Todd spends a great deal of time training his new employees how to be more like Americans, to try and offset American customers’ hostility toward outsourcing call centers to India. Slang, word reductions such as saying things like, “Are you talking to me?” versus “You talkin’ to me?” and language are all a challenge to the Indian workers. In one scene, one of his customer service operators is telling a woman over the phone that she should go with rubbers for her grandson who is starting school this year. The woman, irate, hangs up the phone. It’s later revealed that “rubber” in India means “eraser.”



Knowing that Todd cannot leave the country until he gets his department down to American business standards, he believes it is impossible due to all of the aforementioned reasons. That is until one of the employees, Asha (Ayesha Dharker - Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones), stands out in terms of work ethic and talent.

One of the important parts of this movie is when Todd is speaking to the Indian employees about learning about America. He feels like he is not getting through, until he makes a total gaffe and explains the usage of one of his company’s products – a cow branding novelty to brand steak. It is at this moment that Asha speaks up and tells Todd that HE needs to learn about India. Shortly thereafter, Todd takes the advice to heart and soon he finds his department moving in the right direction.

This movie portrays what many people think is happening when they call a tech division for their computer. An accented voice with an American name who says they are in Chicago, or in the movie it’s pronounced Chi-caw-go, is just one of many stereotypes in regard to customer service outsourcing.

“Outsourced” would have received a 5 star rating but the story, albeit creative, funny and intelligent, was pretty predictable in terms of how Todd would end up. And with Asha being an attractive woman, it was apparent that she and Todd would hook up. What I did like about the movie was that the ending wasn’t typical.



BYLINE:

Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous."

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