The Pool

  • 12
  • Chris Smith (2007)
  • US (SUB)
  • 90 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Writer/director Chris Smith moves a Randy Russell short story from Iowa to Panjim in the Indian state of Goa (and from English to Hindi) for this cross-class love story. Representing a significant change of tack for a director best known for the mirthful documentaries American Movie (1999) and The Yes Men (2003), the slow-burning drama here owes much to the neo-realist style favoured by the doyen of Parallel (ie non-Bollywood) Indian Cinema, Satyajit Ray. But this is very much a latter-day fairy tale, as 18-year-old hotel worker Venatesh Chavan builds a friendship with Ayesha Mohan, while cleaning the pool of her Mumbai businessman father Nana Patekar, whom she has not forgiven for a family tragedy. Mischievously supported by 11-year-old Jhangir Badshah, who gets by selling plastic bags to tourists, Chavan is an unlikely romantic hero. But Smith avoids clich├ęs and stereotypes by maintaining a discreet distance, and allows the charming action to unfold through to its poignant finale.

Plot Summary

Comedy drama starring Jhangir Badshah and Venatesh Chavan. 18-year-old Venkatesh, who scrapes a meagre living on the streets of Goa, becomes fascinated by the seemingly perfect life of a father and daughter who live in a luxury house with a swimming pool. But after befriending the young woman, he discovers that all is not as it seems on the surface.

Cast and crew


Venatesh Chavan
Jhangir Badshah
Ayesha Mohan
Malcolm Faria
Nana, Ayesha's dad
Nana Patekar


Chris Smith

Other Information

Hindi +subtitles
Theatrical distributor: 
Blue Dolphin Films
Available on DVD
Released 16 Nov 2012
Certificate 12