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The Pool

Quietly moving, and full of dark secrets
By BETSY SHERMAN  |  October 1, 2008
3.5 3.5 Stars

thepoolinside.jpg

The Neo-Realist tradition that began in Italy and snaked through the work of Satyajit Ray and Abbas Kiarostami is honored in The Pool, a Hindi film shot by a director who doesn’t speak the language. Chris Smith, maker of the hilarious indie gems American Job (scripted) and American Movie (documentary), set this quietly moving story in the Indian state of Goa, using a mostly non-professional cast. Illiterate teen Venkatesh (Venkatesh Chavan) works in a hotel in the capital but hopes to go to school. Entranced by the sight of a swimming pool at the summer house of a rich Mumbai family, he wheedles his way into a gardening job there. The at-first inscrutable dynamic between the sullen father and daughter becomes clearer when we learn that for them the shimmering pool represents something other than the cool siren it is for the village boy. In spite of its dark secrets, Smith’s film is anything but oppressive. It’s suffused with light, and a gorgeous cross-cultural score lifts the spirit. Hindi + English | 98 minutes | Kendall Square

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  Topics: Reviews , Abbas Kiarostami, Satyajit Ray, Chris Smith,  More more >
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