Reviews | Written by John Townsend 07/07/2022

THE POND

There is something indeterminably intriguing, yet faintly irritating about The Pond from director Petar Pasic. The film itself is a puzzle, a cacophony of visual clues and imagery that never truly connect, and which ultimately leaves you as cold as the bleak landscape in which The Pond exists.

Marco Canadea is The Professor, a man seemingly driven from his university following claims of an apocalyptic discovery. Each day he leaves his partner and daughter at home and travels across a pond to a small settlement populated with unusual characters to continue his work.

The Pond is an unsettling watch. The perpetually gloomy palette and an impressively atmospheric soundtrack maintain an aura of mystique. This feels like a folktale – The Professor even seems to be haunted by a man with a mask of twigs – yet it’s difficult to determine whether there is any true mythical intent. ‘Everybody dies’ is a repeating theme, and overwhelming grief is ever-present; has The Professor succumbed to mental illness following the death of his wife? It’s a question we’re regularly presented with, more so as Pasic’s film plods tentatively toward a finale that fails to comprehensively present you with anything resembling resolution.

In truth, the ambiguity is tolerable but given the slow burn of what plot there is you begin to feel a little duped, having committed to following The Professor’s journey through a maelstrom of internal struggles that manifest in largely threatening ways.

But like his central character, Pasic has created a tale that is difficult to connect with. Visually arresting at times, The Pond struggles with the burden of its own apparent intensity.

  The Pond is released on digital on July 11th.