“American Movie” and “The Yes Men” director Chris Smith makes the shift from documentary specialist to feature-film director with “The Pool,” a 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 the home.
“The Pool” is a charming, elegantly shot fable set in neighborhoods of poverty and privilege in Goa, India.
18-year-old Venkatesh ekes out a living working in a hotel and pounding the pavement selling plastic bags. It’s a far cry from his fantasy – to dive into the glimmering, David Hockney-esque swimming pool of an upper-class family. After he befriends the head of the household (Bollywood superstar Nana Patekar), and begins to pal around with his upstart daughter Ayesha, Venkatesh subtly but assertively sets his sights on a more comfortable way of life for himself and his friend, Jhangir.