Friday, March 9, 2007

San Jose METRO review

(U.S.; 98 min.) A good-natured, yet tart and open-eyed comedy about a hapless Seattleite called Todd Anderson (Josh Hamilton), who works for a company selling patriotic gewgaws and novelties. His company sends him overseas to whip an Indian customer-service center into shape. "Mr. Toad," as the locals call him, adjusts to India and befriends a vivacious employee (the bewitching Ayesha Dharker). Films about Westerners coming to India usually concern spiritual awakenings; what makes Outsourced different from all of those is its deep appreciation for the tangible India: the polychrome Holi festival (as seen recently in Water), the unbelievable euphoniousness of Indian speech—surely that nation is a language lab, where the future of the English tongue is being created. Director John Jeffcoat knows his corporate world: how the word "offshore" is used as a verb, and what's meant by "improving the minutes-per-incident." But the incidents per minute here seem so fresh that they might have come from a sensitive and observant person's travel diary. Only a director who met India halfway could have made this movie. The bittersweet finale is a reminder of how fine it was to see Bill Forsyth's Local Hero for the first time. (RvB) (Mar 3, 8pm, CAL; Mar 4, 6:30pm, CAL; Mar 8, 7pm, C12)
link to online version

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