The narration begins with the aptly-named hero landing a high-paying corporate job at Underwood Samson, the New York City financial firm, after graduation. He meets Erica (played by a decidedly miscast Hudson who looks many years his senior), an artsy photographer, on the street. It is soon revealed that Erica is Underwood Samson’s owner’s niece and something of an American blue-blood. A romance ensues.
The story is interesting but its cinematic execution lacks cohesion. One hurdle is the complete lack of chemistry between Changez and Erica, hence the contrived, melodramatic romantic scenes drag out what would be an otherwise gripping plotline. However, there are moments of poignancy and self-realisation that do resonate with the viewer; such as when Changez expresses to Bobby the momentary satisfaction he felt upon hearing of the events of 9/11; and then later, Changez’s indignation and disbelief at being strip-searched by US border police upon landing at New York’s airport. The cast is top notch, with Sutherland as Jim, Changez’s coldly-efficient mentor at Underwood Samson, and the immensely talented Azmi and Puri playing Changez’s slightly-provincial parents with a strong eastern polarity.