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The Pool

The Pool

Chris Smith (2007)

12 Certificate


Our Score
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 clichés and stereotypes by maintaining a discreet distance, and allows the charming action to unfold through to its poignant finale.


Premiere. A hotel employee is fascinated by a vacant estate, and when the owner comes to stay, he asks the man for work helping around the house while also befriending his teenage daughter. He soon discovers there is unresolved tension between the girl and her father, and is drawn into their conflict. Drama, starring Venkatesh Chavan and Ayesha Mohan. In Hindi.

Cast & Crew

Venkatesh Venatesh Chavan
Jhangir Jhangir Badshah
Ayesha Ayesha Mohan
Malcolm Malcolm Faria
Nana, Ayesha's dad Nana Patekar
Director Chris Smith
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Other Information

Language: Hindi +subtitles Colour Theatrical distributor: Blue Dolphin Films Guidance: Swearing. Available on: Available on DVD Released on: 16 Nov 2012


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