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The Pool (2008)



Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 47
Fresh: 45 | Rotten: 2

Beautifully crafted with loosely drawn characters and a lilting, natural pace, Chris Smith's The Pool features a universal message to which everyone can relate.


Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 21
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 0

Beautifully crafted with loosely drawn characters and a lilting, natural pace, Chris Smith's The Pool features a universal message to which everyone can relate.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 773

My Rating

Movie Info

American Movie director Chris Smith makes the shift from documentary specialist to feature-film director with this Hindi-language drama concerning a young hotel employee whose obsession with an opulent swimming pool at a nearby house gradually turns his life upside down. The affluent hills of Panjim, Goa, in India are the absolute lap of luxury, and when a young boy working at a nearby hotel discovers an extravagant swimming pool, his awe is soon offset by the arrival of a mysterious family at


Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Feb 5, 2013

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Latest News on The Pool

January 28, 2007:
Sundance Awards: "Padre Nuestro," "Grace is Gone" Among Competition Winners
Results are in for this year's Sundance festival winners, including awards for John Cusack's...


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All Critics (47) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (45) | Rotten (2)

Patekar's ability to convey stoic forbearance with so little apparent effort, is one of the marvellous rewards of this intricately textured and compelling film.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A miraculous, American-made Hindi film that is every bit as tranquil as the blue-green reservoir that serves as its abiding metaphor.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Reality and fiction fuse like watercolors in this quietly compelling narrative feature.

December 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a movie about a time, a place and a situation that isn't going to change soon. [Director] Smith takes his time to establish the people, the landscape and the striking contrast between the lives of the very rich and the very poor.

October 31, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a bit schematic and sweet-natured, perhaps to a fault, yet the faces linger.

October 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By pushing himself far outside his Midwestern comfort zone and working with non-actors in a language he doesn't speak, Smith has created a fable with universal appeal.

October 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though plot-wise nothing much happens, Smith elicits strong sense of place and teases out the film's themes ...

December 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Scotsman

It's a subtle, truthful, moving story of class, ambition, friendship and romantic yearning, extremely well acted by a largely non-professional cast.

November 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

[A] wholly unobjectionable, likeably performed but faintly soporific drama ...

November 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Shot with a level of realism we rarely seen in Indian cinema, this film combines sharply engaging characters with an involving story that really gets under the skin. A

November 16, 2012 Full Review Source:

Told with real warmth and charm, this is a confidently handled tale boosted by natural, engaging performances from Venkatesh and Jahangir Badshah as his young friend.

November 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

It tells you a lot about South India, its essentially rural culture and the stifling poverty of its underclass.

November 16, 2012 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Smith's film is natural and unforced, with a winning fluency and calm observational style.

November 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian

Hopefully Smith will make more movies in this laid-back, poetic style.

November 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Here are filigree detailing, pure-and-simple performances (especially from Venkatesh Chavan as the boy) and a subtly lambent moral tale ...

November 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

A fascinating narrative set in modern-day Indian and full of insights into a class-riven country.

November 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

It tells a tale so sweetly elemental and classic that it could pretty much have happened along at any point in storytelling history.

November 13, 2012 Full Review Source: The List
The List

Satisfying tale of marginalized youth struggling to survive alone in a cold world and dreaming of success despite all odds against them.

January 31, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Shimmers silently. A quietly remarkable film, for its seeming simplicity, its careful rhythms, and its interest in a place and its spirit.

June 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

The Pool is beautiful to look at, and, for what it conveys about human nature, to experience.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

worth seeing, primarily for its beautiful Goa setting

January 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

Based on a story by Randy Russell, The Pool is a low-key film that often feels like a documentary...

October 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Playback:stl

Audience Reviews for The Pool

This is an interesting fictional story. There is no melodrama whatsoever. The look at life in the rural and poor urban parts of India is fascinating, but I dont feel that they are enough to hold my interest for further viewings. If youre looking for entertainment, this is not it. However, if youre in search of an honest portrayal of survival on the streets of an Indian city, you will find it here.
November 16, 2010

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]In "The Pool," Venkatesh(Venkatesh Chavan) is an 18-year old hotel worker whose dreams are too ambitious for his lack of an education. In the meantime, he sells plastic bags with his 11-year old friend, Jhangir(Jhangir Badshah), who works in a restaurant. Together, they often go to a large abandoned house on the edge of the city and dream of swimming in the pool there. One day, they find the occupants returned, a middle-aged man(Nana Patekar) and his young daughter, Ayesha(Ayesha Mohan).[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"The Pool" is a fine but insubstantial movie that has more of a message than any kind of plot. It is mostly concerned with the issue of children in India being forced to grow up too quickly, many with little or no education. But the film's structure betrays this by simply going in circles, repeating the endless cycle of the boys' lives. And the jump cutting gives the movie an unnecessarily artsy feel.[/font]
September 7, 2008
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

The use of young Indian actors playing a version of themselves results in a film with a large dose of realism. You almost feel as though you have a fly's view of how the working poor of Goa survive and their relationship with those more prosperous. What appears to be a poor distribution deal makes this a hard film to find. Grab it if you can.
August 18, 2010
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

    1. Nana: So, suppose I gave you and your sister a hundred rupees each. And I say, go to the market and buy yourself something. She buys a frock for herself and you buy a shirt for yourself. Now, let's say you bought something and your sister asks to see it. You tell her to go first. She shows a shirt that she has bought for you. And, then you smiles and shows her a frock that you have bought for her. Either way you were going to get a shirt and she a frock. But the feeling you get from giving... It's magic.
    – Submitted by Vishnu B (20 months ago)
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