The Pool

"Excellent"

The Pool Review


Shot with a level of realism we rarely seen in Indian cinema, this film combines sharply engaging characters with an involving story that really gets under the skin. After a series of entertaining documentaries (such as The Yes Men), director-cowriter Smith returns to narrative fiction, but gives himself the challenge of adapting an American short story (by cowriter Russell) to another culture. And with a cast of mostly non-actors, he creates a movie that harks back to Indian classics while telling a thoroughly modern story.

The story takes place in Goa, where 18-year-old Venkatesh (Chavan) does odd jobs in a hotel and sleeps on the lobby floor. When not working, he's running the streets with 11-year-old Jhangir (Badshah), trying to make some extra cash and dreaming about taking a dip in an idyllic pool they watch over a wall. In this oasis, the quiet Nana (Patekar) lives with his surly teen daughter Ayesha (Mohan). And as Venkatesh and Jhangir talk about finding a better life, Venkatesh gets up the nerve to ask Nana for a job.

What happens from here is gentle and realistic, as Venkatesh and Jhangir become friends with Ayesha, and Nana asks Venkatesh if he wants to move to Bombay with them. But there are all kinds of other things going on here that keep the film from ever being predictable. When Venkatesh travels home to see his family in the countryside, we see his responsibilities in striking contrast to his free-spirited life in the city. And there's also the added wrinkle that Nana sees Venkatesh as a kind of replacement for his late son.

Filmmaker Smith keeps everything so matter-of-fact that we can't help but identify with each of the characters as they try to plot their way through life. They're all beautifully written, and played with a loosely improvised style by the cast. Even veteran actor Patekar sheds his starry image for a beautifully offhanded performance. And as the connections between the characters grow and stretch and are strained to the breaking point, what's most remarkable is how easy it is to see ourselves in them.

Rich Cline



The Pool

Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Run time: 89 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 4th October 2001

Distributed by: Vitagraph Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 36%
Fresh: 4 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 4.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Malcolm Faria, Kate Noble

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.