Director: John Jeffcoat (feature debut)
Starring: Josh Hamilton, Ayesha Dharker, Asif Basra, Matt Smith
In short: A situation vacant, but a job done
This easygoing romantic comedy makes the most of a fascinating setting and a casual overall vibe.
The story begins in the American city of Seattle, where a fine purveyor of crappy novelty items has junked his local sales team and relocated the jobs to a call centre in India.
The sole survivor of the slashback is Todd (Josh Hamilton), a thirtysomething company man who suddenly finds himself in Mumbai training his new workmates.
Holed up inside a concrete bunker in the middle of the night, the sales staff must not only “give good phone” in order to keep the tills ringing. They also need to churn through at least 10 calls per hour while coming to grips with the Americanised English spoken by their customers.
On first impressions, Outsourced doesn’t seem to aspire to much. There is a bland cross-cultural love story thrown into the mix, as well as some grudging lip service paid to the pressing issue of exploiting cheap labour in poor countries.
However, where the film does come into its own is whenever first-time director John Jeffcoat simply roams the bustling streets and cluttered alleyways of suburban Mumbai.
There is so much activity happening in such close quarters to the lens you’ll find yourself willing the camera operator to turn around and take a second look.
Outsourced: Review. Outsourced, Josh Hamilton, Ayesha Dharker. First-time director John Jeffcoat’s fish-out-of-water comedy, cowritten with George Wing …
A Seattle call center manager discovers life and love in India when he’s Outsourced. This unaffected charmer treats a hot-button contempo issue with …
Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Anjelica Huston
Director: Wes Anderson
Screenwriter: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman
Producer: Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Roman Coppola, Lydia Dean Pilcher
Wes Anderson, the creator of RUSHMORE and THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, offers another quirky, melancholic riff on familial ties and father issues in THE DARJEELING LIMITED. Francis (Owen Wilson) has invited his brothers, Jack (Jason Schwartzman) and Peter (Adrien Brody), to join him on a train… [More]
Wes Anderson, the creator of RUSHMORE and THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, offers another quirky, melancholic riff on familial ties and father issues in THE DARJEELING LIMITED. Francis (Owen Wilson) has invited his brothers, Jack (Jason Schwartzman) and Peter (Adrien Brody), to join him on a train trip for a spiritual quest through India. The brothers have been estranged since their father’s sudden death, and each is now embroiled in his own personal drama. Jack is being toyed with by his two-timing girlfriend, Peter’s wife is about to give birth, and Francis recently survived a car crash that nearly killed him. As the train chugs its way across India, the brothers try to reconnect, but mainly end up arguing and sharing pharmaceuticals. Francis admits that the real reason he lured them there is because he wants them to visit their mother (Anjelica Huston), who is living in a convent in the Himalayas. Peter and Jack are none too pleased with this plan, and immediately want to go home. The trip hits another snag when they are kicked off the train for a series of offenses. Stranded with their mountain of matching luggage, Peter and Jack are now insistent upon leaving. However, they suddenly find themselves brought together by an deadly accident involving some Indian children. The tragedy unites them, and they decide to continue on to their mother. Their visit with her proves revelatory, and they begin their journey homeward free of both their literal and metaphorical baggage. The film bears all of Anderson’s trademark touches–stilted comedic dialogue, blunted emotions, and bizarre set pieces that pay subtle homage to the 1970s. Though the film is a bit quieter and less madcap than his previous work, it is still sure to delight his many fans.
The Darjeeling Limited movie reviews, trailers – Check out Rotten Tomatoes The Darjeeling Limited clips, pictures, critic and user reviews, forums and the …
AO Scott’s mixed review: “This shaggy-dog road trip … is unstintingly fussy, vain and self-regarding. But it is also a treasure: an odd, flawed, …
I can’t tell you exactly why, but I liked this movie – despite its flaws. If you are in the mood for a quirky little story about three brothers setting off …
Monica Ali (novel)
Laura Jones (writer)
16 November 2007 (UK) more
A young Bangladeshi woman, Nazneem, arrives in 1980s London, leaving behind her beloved sister and home… more
View full synopsis. (warning! may contain spoilers)
London / September 11 2001 / Letter Writing / Landlady / Mother Daughter Relationship more
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations more
Photos (see all 5 photos)
We’ve heard a lot in this film festival about how liberty suffers in times of war. But with BRICK LANE we have a real life case study of political correctness and multiculturalism in Britain today. Monica Ali’s book and Sarah Gavron’s new film were both attacked by elements of the Bangladeshi community for being racist – for portraying the Bengali community in an unfavourable light. As a result, this movie was not actually filmed in Brick Lane – the heart of the Bengali community in London’s East End. Prince Charles also pulled out of the planned Royal Premiere because the film was seen to be too controversial, which is why the movie ended up as a late addition to the London Film Festival. So much for being “Defender of Faith”. His Royal Highness should perhaps consider his responsibility to be a defender of liberty and artistic freedom.
So much for political correctness gone crazy and on to the film. (I admit to not having read the incredibly popular novel on which the movie was based.) Monica Ali’s story has two main strands. The first is a love story. Tannishtha Chatterjee plays a Bengali girl called Nazneen. At 16 she is married off to a man called Chanu (Satish Kaushik) and leaves her Bengali village for London. Whenever she thinks back to her time in Bengal it is depicted as a country of vivid colours and happy memories. I have to say that I am a bit tired of seeing this sort of slo-mo colour-saturated flashback, but heigh-ho, I suppose it does show how we idealise our past. 16 years later, Nazneen is the mother of two daughters and dissatisfied with her husband. He comes across as a fat pompous fool, fond of literature, sure of a promotion, and domineering. Nazneen takes in sewing when her husband loses his job and ends up having an affair with an attractive young man called Karim (Christopher Simpson). The dramatic tension rests on whether she will leave her husband for her new lover. The love story is decently acted but has absolutely no dramatic tension. From the first moment Nazneen claps eyes on Karim, we know they’re going to fall in love.
The second, far less developed and yet far more interesting, strand deals with the politics of immigration. At first, the Bengali community is conciliatory towards the outside world – wanting to engage and feeling victimised by racism. By the end of the film, they have become more fervent and more aggressive. By far not enough time is given to this theme.
The character that really links the two strands in the husband Chanu, played by the brilliant Satish Kaushik. Again, he’s not given enough time at the expense of the more photogenic love story. Chanu is fascinating because he puts his faith in the system. He is well educated and trusts that merit will be rewarded. But he is duly passed over for promotion because he doesn’t look and sound the part. When the community starts to become more aggressive he makes a stand for humanism and compassion – a moment of real nobility that earns the audience and Nazneen’s respect. And finally, he comes to the rather depressing conclusion that he cannot exist both as Bengali and English resident. Kaushik successfully brings off this complex character – both domineering and gentle; both ridiculous and noble. It is by far the best and most fascinating part of the film.
Both Georg (Our Gmunden Correspondent) and I left the cinema with mixed feelings about BRICK LANE. So much of the shooting style and central love story seemed predictable and derivative. But the character of Satish, and the hints of the deeper social and political changes, were very interesting indeed. So, we give it a mild recommendation.
Links to multiple reviews of Brick Lane by Monica Ali.
Throughout the novel, the trials of Nazneen’s life in Brick Lane are cut through by letters from home, from her sister Hasina who made a love match and who …