Film

Offshore Isn’t Potent Enough to Be a Lukewarm-Button Movie

by

As if Office Space were remade by a TV hack who can’t tell a joke,
scored by an infomercial composer, and both produced and cast by the
ghost of Ed Wood, Michigan-based filmmaker Diane Cheklich’s insipid,
cheapjack dramedy—about a flagging company’s decision to
outsource—isn’t potent enough to even be called a lukewarm-button
movie. When the CEO of Fairfax Furniture (Marty Bufalini) determines
that costs must be cut to save his own ass, he hands over his call
center to an Indian start-up called Voxx, which then flies three
employees out to Detroit so they can familiarize themselves with the
products. Trained by the pissed-off workers they’re about to replace,
the trio experiences dramatic tension of a junior-high cafeteria
caliber, as the Americans gently sabotage (prank calls!), humiliate
(“Bring us coffee!”), and make xenophobic retorts like “But we’re
American, Pedro.” Cheklich and her co-writers seem as if they’re
consciously not taking sides on such a complex issue, but that only
means both cultures are depicted as myopic caricatures, and . . .
[With apologies, the Voice has outsourced the rest of this
review to Mumbai]
. . . it’s a good movie, and I like all the time.

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