Yes I am talking about the movie by James Dodson released in 2008-The Other End Of The Line starring Jesse Metcalfe & Shriya Saran in the lead. What started out as a fun flick well, had me in tears. Yeah, odd since I am a girl rarely touched by books let alone a movie. So here is the synopsis-warning skip the following para if you like to keep the storyline a surprise.
Jesse Metcalfe plays the role of an everyday American-with a girlfriend who is a perfect match for him, a good job in the advertisement sector where his recent project involves designing an ad for a chain of hotels & also with the inevitable credit card problems. That’s when Puja played by Shriya, steps in-she’s the voice of Citi Bank, that is assigned the job to solve Granger’s fraudulent credit card dealings. I won’t say its love-at-first-hello, it’s rather a slow sweet process with Jennifer David (Priya’s pseudo name) offering Granger advice on how to get rid of common cold. Soon they get talking on issues other than credit cards, sometimes about Granger’s personal life & sometimes about what the moon looks like. And then the moment arrives when Granger expresses his wish to meet Jennifer who is supposedly in San Francisco.
And you guessed it, Priya who is by the way engaged to a very kiddish mamma’s boy Vikram (or was it Virat? I really don’t remember) runs off to San Francisco to meet her crush. Ah but Indians being Indians, somehow the feeling creeps in to her that Granger might not like her after all. And so she hides from him leaving him disheartened. As fate would have it, they bump into each other(literally) & well, they had already kicked off hadn’t they? But the twist is, Priya doesn’t explain that she is the ‘voice at the other end of the line’. The rest of the story is quite predictable & obvious yet interesting.
The storyline isn’t all that original or surprising, it’s a merger with Bollywood ideas of course. But at least the call centre story is a lot different from and better than the disastrous Hello. It looks like a call centre here not some posh hotel’s reception area. Anupam Kher as Priya’s easily excitable & very Indian father is absolutely lovable. Her family provides the comic relief in the movie. There is this scene where they ask a group of gay prostitutes(I don’t know how Priya’s aunt finds them to be ‘nice gentlemen’) the address of the hotel & end up being invited for group sex! Even the would-be groom is kind of funny-blushing when telling Priya that his Mom has already selected a nice king-size bed for them!
The scene that touched my heart was when Priya’s father finally stands up for his daughter. Caught between her dreams and her family’s happiness Priya is at the doorstep of her in-laws, brought there with the purpose to apologise. Instead she claims that she is sorry but she can’t let go of her dreams. When her would-be in-laws start abusing her, Anupam Kher stands up and fondly claims that his daughter is a dreamer, someone charming enough to make people smile & pay attention to her when she speaks. And most of all Priya is his daughter & he is proud of her. Ah! If only all parents were as thoughtful & willing to accept their kids as they are instead of making excuses for their failings.
The Other End of The Line is a good pick- makes me wonder why I never hear of such movies & instead spend my time with pathetic excuses of a movie like Dabbang- seriously ‘wholesome’ entertainment? So go for it, it’s a good movie with the usual mirch-masala and no ‘item’ songs thankfully!