Written by: Sherryn Daniel, Special to CC2K
Bollywood, in some form, has been making splashes across Hollywood ever since Slumdog Millionaire raked in several Oscars and Golden Globe trophies. However Slumdog Millionaire is not a pure Bollywood film, neither is Outsourced, a flick that came out in 2007, about a man who lost his managing position at a Seattle Call center due to outsourcing to India. Employees in the call center’s new location would be making pennies on the dollar (2 American cents per rupee) and to add salt to Todd Anderson’s (Josh Hamilton) injury, he was sent to Mumbai to train his replacement.
While wading through the busy streets, Todd rides in three wheeled bikes, eats questionable shaved ice and overtips the older women by the airport. After getting lost, he was greeted by his replacement Puro N. Virajnarianan (Asif Basra) who referred to him as “Mr. Toad” throughout the movie. Forty- something year old Puro offers his home to Todd so he would receive better hospitality, but instead is overstuffed with food, and his forced to use his right hand ( Toilet paper went MIA) when using the bathroom.
All in all, Todd wasn’t feeling India’s culture so he tried to fight back eating veggie burgers, interacting with pick-pocketing children and especially with putting aside his western beliefs to appreciate the statues, foods and colors from Hindu culture. He later meets a man from “MacDonnells” (India’s version of McDonalds) who was in the same position as him, but advises him to accept the culture and to night fight it. The advice later sunk in as he immerses himself into Holi (A hindu holiday that has people throw color powders at each other) and accepted the idiosyncratic nature of his co-workers at his cramped, cement blocked call center.
Of course, he falls in love with his best employee Asha (Ayesha Dharker) whose brash nature and quick wit assisted in him learning the Indian culture. Outsourced is a social comedy with a romantic twist that divulges westerners in the difficulties of assimilating into another culture and about the hardships of having your job outsourced. Sad to say there weren’t any colorful dance sequences like in any traditional Bollywood film but it does have the typical love story, family problems (Asha has an arranged marriage) and beautiful imagery that is carbon copied from every B-wood flick.