Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Two vastly different DVDs

While spending the three-day weekend at the beach, we watched two movies: "Outsourced" and "Elizabeth."

OutsourcedOutsourced: 3 out of 5 stars

I first became aware of "Outsourced" when I happened upon the truly dreadful sit-com, which is based on the movie. The movie is vastly better. Young Seattle businessman Todd Anderson is informed that the call center he supervises is being outsourced to India, and he's been tasked with getting it up and running. After getting off to a rocky start, Todd eventually settles into India and comes to appreciate the culture and the people. If anything, it portrays India through rose-colored glasses (not showing the underbelly of the country, such as the slums surrounding Mumbai or the incessant poverty). Still, it was a classy, understated romantic comedy without a Hollywood ending.

Elizabeth (Spotlight Series)Elizabeth: 3 out of 5 stars

It's hard to believe, but we had never seen "Elizabeth." Cate Blanchett is stunning, and the costuming and cinematography are beautiful. I found myself feeling ignorant of British history beyond the basics (rivalry between Elizabeth and Mary Queen of Scots, etc.). It sent me off to consult Wikipedia on my iPhone, during which I discovered the huge amount of historical inaccuracies in this film.

On one hand, a firm grasp of British history would aid in the viewing of this movie (as some of the plot was hard to follow without knowing more about what happened), but on the other hand, history buffs will be horrified to see how many things they changed.

I love historical fiction and films--when the author or screenwriter fills in the blanks of what we do not know (for example, I loved "Shakespeare in Love" and The Red Tent). This was different. The screenwriter dramatically rewrote history, and I found that unsettling. I gave this three stars, purely because of the production values and acting.

Even though Mike is vastly better versed in British and European history than I am, he was not nearly as bothered by the historical inaccuracies as I was. I find that to be fascinating. Guess I'm more of a stickler!

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