Chris Smith • USA • 2007 • An incisive portrait of youthful dreams in Goa.
Venkatesh lives in Panaji, the capital of Goa. He works cleaning hotel rooms, taking his breaks in the elegant boughs of a mango tree, beneath which shimmers the pool of a private villa. Venkatesh longs to swim in the pool, but knows he cannot. One day, he tentatively approaches Nana, the property’s affluent owner, offering his groundskeeping services. Venkatesh begins working as the older man’s part-time assistant, and their relationship slowly deepens. But the glimpse of a different life plunges Venkatesh into uneasy territory.
Filmed in a neorealist style, The Pool is an incisive portrait of youthful dreams in the former Portuguese colony. Chris Smith’s second narrative film premiered at Vienna and Sundance, where it won a Special Jury Prize. The Pool is a New York Times Critic’s Pick.