American Daylight

Distinction of being the first movie set in the world of Indian call centers isn't enough to sustain interest in "American Daylight," an unbelievable thriller-cum-romance that's one big missed call. Unlikely plot of a U.S. businessman falling for a South Asian phone operator -- and then flying halfway around the world to find her -- isn't helped by phony dialogue, awkward performances, a token sprinkling of social commentary, and routine direction by Roger Christian. Skedded to open in India Dec. 17, pic won't be seeing much daylight in mainstream Western markets.

With:
With: Nick Moran, Koel Purie, Vijay Raaz, Gulshan Grover, Daya Pandey, Amardeep Jha, Jennifer Siebel, Avantika Akrekar, Gary Kemp.

Distinction of being the first movie set in the world of Indian call centers isn’t enough to sustain interest in “American Daylight,” an unbelievable thriller-cum-romance that’s one big missed call. Unlikely plot of a U.S. businessman falling for a South Asian phone operator — and then flying halfway around the world to find her — isn’t helped by phony dialogue, awkward performances, a token sprinkling of social commentary, and routine direction by Roger Christian. Skedded to open in India Dec. 17, pic won’t be seeing much daylight in mainstream Western markets.

After phoning his bank to check his balance and being redirected to a call center in New Delhi, music exec Lawrence (Nick Moran, with a wobbly American accent) strikes up a phone relationship with “Sue,” aka Sujata (Koel Purie). She eventually helps him stop his bitch-on-wheels wife, Zelda (Jennifer Siebel), from emptying his account. After tracking Sujata down in India, Lawrence is targeted by a killer hired by Sujata’s jealous boss, Pratap (Vijay Raaz, indistinct). Production values are on the modest side for a wannabe international genre movie.

American Daylight

India

Production: A Kaleidoscope production. (International sales: Kaleidoscope, New Delhi.) Produced by Bobby Bedi. Directed by Roger Christian. Screenplay, Farrukh Dhondy.

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen), Himman Dhamija; editor, Alan Strachan; music, Amaah Ali Rangash, Ayaan Ali Rangash; art director, Yoyendra Tyagi; costume designer, Shaahid Amir. Reviewed at London Film Festival (World Cinema), Oct. 21, 2004. (Also in Pusan Film Festival -- A Window on Asian Cinema.) English dialogue. Running time: 100 MIN.

With: With: Nick Moran, Koel Purie, Vijay Raaz, Gulshan Grover, Daya Pandey, Amardeep Jha, Jennifer Siebel, Avantika Akrekar, Gary Kemp.

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