Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Outsourced - Movie beats Story
Outsourcing Works So Well, India Is Sending Jobs Abroad - Well, sort of. Irony is beloved at the Times. The notion that India, the king of capturing jobs that can be handled on-line or by telephone, would now be losing the same jobs to countries that can do them for less, smacks of delicious irony and grabs a page A-1 headline. The term "poetic reflection" actually appears. Read your own story NY Times. This is not outsourcing, these companies are hiring workers where they can find them, adding jobs, not moving existing jobs out of India to countries that do them more cheaply. In one example the Indian based multinational Infosys is staffing a global office structure, but it is meeting the needs of global clients (some of whom speak Spanish, Portugese and other languages) and dealing with the scarcity of skilled programming labor, not just dealing with high costs in India by moving jobs elsewhere. It's sad when the search for delicious irony trumps the search for truth, it's just whacky when the headline and lede are so determined to find irony that they ignore a basically accurate story.
Outsourced, the movie, - is a comedy that works well without getting tangled up in economics. Josh Hamilton plays the lone survivor of an outsourced American call center, banished to India to train his own replacement. He survives a comic struggle with an alien culture, eventually finding romance and coming to terms with India. The preview audience laughed loud and often. Director and co-writer John Jeffcoat sets a delayed gratification record, waiting through three scenes before he delivers the punch line on the "Mr. Toad" sign glimpsed in the hands of a limo driver in a crowded airport scene. He also comes up with a great bit in which the Indian call center employees deliver famous Hollywood movie lines to perfect their American accents and a vivid and ultimately revealing sight gag in which a Hindu change of season ritual explodes like a paint ball ambush. This is an independent film which got a lot of bang for its buck by shooting in India. Watch for a New York open soon, but broader distribution will depend on reviews and revenues.