The public being surely fascinated by the visuals, the cryptic intelligence of the scenario of Jean-Claude Carrière can not register at the beginning. The plot moves forward as information about this four-sided relationship is broken down into non-sequels, passive-aggressive observations, and backhanded compliments. Says Harry called, Jean-Paul growls, “Whenever we hide a place he’s the first to call. Marianne invites Harry and Pen to stay a few days – and turns a feline half-smile to a clearly beaming Jean-Paul. As Harry shares an uncomfortable breakfast with Jean-Paul, he casually asks, “Of course you don’t stop him from working?” Thus we learn that Marianne is a writer; we also learn that Harry knows that Jean-Paul is also a writer and that he did not write – because he cannot make a living from it. After an impromptu night at midnight where everyone flirts dangerously with the wrong partner, Marianne urges Jean-Paul to say what he thinks of Harry’s daughter. He replies, “She’s strange.” And Marianne reads it like a book: “If I take you, I should pack my bags and go.”
In addition to the swirling entanglements onscreen, even all these years later, real-life stories and offscreen ironies enrich “The Pool”. Schneider and Delon had once been the It Couple of the European film scene, getting engaged a year after they met on the set of “Christine” in 1958, but never married. Delon broke things off in 1964 with a note that has become legend: “Left for Mexico with Nathalie”. He had married Nathalie and Schneider had since married another man.
But if Jacques Deray suggested Monica Vitti, Delon insisted on Schneider. It was a brilliant instinct; the film proves that their onscreen chemistry has grown exponentially over the years. The film was also a decisive role for Schneider. Enigmatic, incredibly beautiful and completely adult, the character of Marianne was a world far from the “Sissi” films of the 1950s, where a very young Schneider had made a name for herself playing the innocent young Empress Elisabeth of Austria.
Jane Birkin was actually 22 during the shoot, but her half-awkward, half-cool manner was perfect for Pen. She had just recorded the famous “Je t’aime (moi non plus)” with her lover, the 41-year-old French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, who chased young women and wrote sinister songs about younger ones. Birkin’s off-screen life adds a touch of ironic fun as, in a surge of honesty rare for these characters, Pen tells Jean-Paul that if people think she is Harry’s girlfriend, ” he likes her better, although he protests: ‘No, no, she’s my daughter! hoping they won’t believe it.