'The Pool'' proves that cinema knows no language barrier

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Panaji, Nov 27 (UNI) ''The Pool', a Hindi film directed by American filmmaker Chris Smith which was premiered at the 38th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here proves that cinema knows no language barrier.

''The Pool'', screened here yesterday under the Film India Worldwide (FIWW) section was well received.

Even 36-year-old Smith feels that he faced no difficulty in communicating with his actors while shooting the film. ''What was important was that to ensure that everything was covered narratively. I and my lead actors bridged the gap of communication with the help of good translation from the local crew,''he added.

Addressing a press conference here today, Smith said he chose Panaji as the backdrop of his film because he liked its ambience and culture.

''I came here five years ago in connection with a film shooting and interacted with lot of room boys during my stay in a city hotel here. I had no idea that I would be making a film here five years later. It was only when I read a short story on a room boy, I was inspired to write the screenplay and base the story in Panaji where I had interacted with some of them,''he added.

''My basic aim was to integrate with the culture of the people here. The story was a story of human relationships and the way people relate to each other. I began shooting since early 2006 and completed the shooting in a schedule of 65 days lasting five months. My search for the lead actors ended with Venkatesh ,a daily wager near Panaji's National theatre and Jehangir , who worked as waiter near hotel Nova Goa,'' Smith informed.

While Venkatesh continues to do the same work he did earlier, Jehangir has started attending school.

Similarly, Smith approached Nana Patekar for one of the prominent roles after reading in newspapers that the veteran actor was on lookout for interesting.

To a question on whether he plans to release the film in India, Smith said he was in the process of making inquiries and contacts with distributors regarding the same. Whereas in the US,he plans to release the film in March or May 2008. When asked whether a Hindi film will be accepted in the US, he said, ''Americans interest in foreign language films is growing. A German film 'Lives of Others' did good business at the box office,''he added.

''The Pool'' follows the story of Venkatesh, a hotel house boy alongside his staunch buddy Jehangir. The two make extra money by selling plastic bags to pedestrians. He is mesmerized by the the aquamarine glow of a backyard swimming pool, which he gazes from a mango tree. He gets to know the owners a wealthy man (Nana Patekar) and his daughter Ayesha originally from Mumbai. This encounter of the boys with the father-daughter duo, aspiring to better themselves without the benefit of any education or skills, changes their lives.

The film's leisured pace and seemingly effortless story telling captures the essential spirit of Goan living, from its mansions, street life and work force. Director Smith ,known for his searching,introspective documentaries and their natural setting and universality of theme, brings out these attributes with gentle understanding again in ''The Pool''.


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