A boy in abject poverty works in a hotel and becomes obsessed with a swimming pool in the opulent hills of Panjim, Goa, India. His life gets turned upside-down when he attempts to meet the mysterious family who lives at the house.
Coming of age. Venkatesh is 18, illiterate; he cleans hotel rooms in Panjim, Goa, and sells plastic bags on the street with his 10-year-old partner, Jhangir, an enterprising orphan. He's fascinated by the swimming pool on a vacant estate, and when the owner shows up from Bombay with his teen daughter, Venkatesh watches them from a tree and follows the girl when she's out. He and Jhangir start a friendship with her. The father and daughter are at odds, hardly speaking; tragedy is in their past. Venkatesh helps the father in the garden; short, odd conversations evolve into a gruff offering of a job and schooling in Bombay. What will Venkatesh do with this opportunity? Written by
This film is shown on Independent film channel, it's an interesting and relevant film. No great theories here, just Vankatesh a young destitute Indian boy trying to make it in the city of Panjim (his mother lives in the country and he brings money back to her and his two sisters).
He works as a hotel boy and also with his friend Jhangir, tries to sell plastic bags to street vendors to make money on the side. From the activities of Venkatesh and his friend, as they try to get a mango down from the tree for lunch (.."Is this what Goans do for recreation?"... , his friend Ayesha asks). They befriend her because Venkatesh tells his friend he has seen a villa which has a nice swimming pool and no one ever uses it. Ayesha Mohan is very good here as the girl, she is more stylish and her father is a businessman from Bombay who works there and owns this villa in Goa.
At any rate Venkatesh and Jhangir befriend Ayesha, they walk around Panjim, and he shows her the Portuguese architecture of an abandoned fort from years past.
The photography is real without the fake embellished "gritty" style. We could see much of the same streets in Mexico, parts of South Florida or rural America. The street scenes are of food markets and hardscrabble life which is just accepted by Venkatesh as a day to day thing. Noteworthy are the scenes when he meets Ayesha's father who mentors him, has him help in the garden and eventually talks to him about going back to school.
It's a shame these films do not get as much distribution in the U.S. It's a reflection of people just trying to survive. The initial screenplay apparently was based in Iowa, its the same situation there in this economy for many, so the theme is certainly relevant and effective. I'd love to see more of these films from Hollywood, and less based on comic book characters. 10/10.
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