I love simple films. They can be hard to pull off, but simple films are usually the most enjoyable. In the case of “The Pool,” it’s just a shame that such a simple film dredges on for a little longer than is truly needed.
“The Pool” is the story of Venkatesh Chavan who works at a hotel in Panjim, Goa and wishes for something else in life. He spends his days cleaning the hotel, selling bags at a market with his friend Jhangir, and sitting up in a mango tree spying on a family’s beautiful swimming pool. After semi stalking the father and daughter that live in the house with the amazing pool, Venkatesh is offered a job working in the garden by the father. Venkatesh learns many things from the rich man and is inspired to find some way to better himself. Still, Venkatesh very much wants to swim in the pool since the family themselves do not, yet he eventually finds out the tragic reason why that is and therein lies the metaphor this film is built on.
Directed by Chris Smith, the film pulls from the filmmaker’s documentary roots and is one of the most lavish and beautiful looking movies I have ever seen. The entire film is shot in static shots, creating a cinema style that evoles into an extension of reality.
That being said, creating a film that feels so real does have its disadvantages and the biggest one has to be that the film is extremely long for the subject matter. Maybe I am just to used to the standard fare of American cinema, and I’ll admit to that, but I couldn’t help feeling that it just dragged a bit.
This simple film can be quite a great diversion from our every day grind. The camera style, characters, and visual look are all quite impressive, while maintaining an easy accessibility for the audience’s eyes. It is only too bad that the film feels so sluggish.