I like instant gratification, so I found this one while browsing Netflix’s selection of ‘Watch Now’ movies. I can usually sit through anything with a foreign setting (i.e. if it was actually filmed in a foreign country). The Indian backdrop of Outsourced is beautiful, and luckily there is more than just pretty scenery: we are treated to a few scenes in which the main character wanders through a poor but vibrant neighborhood, which is surprisingly located right behind the wall of the upscale compound where he’s staying.
The premise is simple: a call center manager at a company that sells kitschy American junk finds out his department is being outsourced to India. He must travel there to train his replacement team or lose his job immediately. Faux-pas and language blunders (admittedly one of my favorite types of comedy) ensue, as does our hero’s migration from reluctance to wholehearted embrace of the culture.
While there are a lot of predictable laughs, I enjoyed the version of India that the film creates – it is much more nuanced than your average destination comedy, yet not at all heavy-handed in its portrayal of poverty and globalization. I also appreciated how it does not dumb down the American corporate experience too much, as is usually the case with comedies. The characters are charming and real, and I’ll take a light comedy with characters I care about over snooty drama with one-dimensional characters any day. The soundtrack is also a lot of fun!