Gerald Wright's Movie Coverage
"OFFSHORE FILM REVIEW "
Directed by: Diane Cheklich
Running time: 92 minutes
Release date: May 29, 2009
Genre: Comedy and Drama
Distributor: TMS Universal
MPAA Rating: Not rated
As the economic crisis affects the lifestyle of every American, writer/director Diane Cheklich's dramedy tells a story of how downsizing at a company results in outsourcing employment. This situation brings out the best and worst in people around the globe.
For those who don't understand what outsourcing means, I'll give you a rough draft on what it entails. Outsourcing is subcontracting a process, such as product design or manufacturing, to a third-party company. The decision to outsource is often made in the interest of lowering cost or making better use of time and energy costs, redirecting or conserving energy directed at the competencies of a particular business, or to make use of labor, capital and resources.
The Detroit, Michigan Fairfax Furniture Company's call center falls under economic pressure and its CEO Derek Abernathy (Marty Bufalini) must cut costs or lose his position. It is clear that he will keep his job and dump his staff by means of accepting a supplier proposal from Voxx of India, a new call center half way around the world. When an over-aggressive representative/manager Ajay Tiwari (Siddharth Makkar) arrives in Detroit to propose his plan, the business savvy Mrs. Fairfax (owner of the company) gives the contract to him with a short start-up date. This decision interferes with Abernathy's lengthy plans.
Back in India, a comedic scenario begins as perspective employees are applying for positions. This is a process that most Americans could not imagine. The mob scene of the applicants is similar to a stampede herd of cattle. Construction workers of the new call center are not of the best caliber; however, they are determined to have everything prepared and operational. They are working with outdated telephones and malfunctioning computers.
From the masses desperate for work in India, Ajay hires three candidates to go to America to be turned into trainers. Nikhil, Anjali and Reva (Neil Bhoopalam, Ratnabali Bhattacharjee and Malaika Shenoy) are given the assignment. When they arrive in Detroit they are not welcomed. Disgruntled American workers at Fairfax Furniture are supposed to train them. The actor's brilliant performances as people overcoming adversity give this film narrative substance.
The film takes dramatic turn as trainers Carol and Brigette (Deb Tunis and Emily Rose Merrill) of the Fairfax Furniture sabotage their trainees from India by giving them wrong training information. Carol leads a crusade of ostracizing them and rallies with an a local television anchor woman Amanda Case, amusingly played by Alison Crockett.
This is a low budget lively indie that has a good solid plot. It is enlightening how the character development comes together so well. The superior performances from supporting cast members (Diane Allemon as Iris, Robert C. Bonnell as Godfrey, David Rumble as Denzel and Geoff Ernst as Jerry) complete this movie with balance.
FILM RATING (B)