Gold covers the journey of the Indian Hockey Team towards their first Olympic gold medal, post the independence of India (albeit with a semi-fictional setup).
Positive Points: –
- Reema Kagti’s direction ensures a thoroughgoing entertainment for the audience despite the use of some generic cliches.
- The performances of all the actors who get the centre stage time to time during the film’s run. Having said that, it’s also important to note (and commendable) how the script doesn’t rely heavily on just one central persona (here it’s Tapan Das played by Akshay Kumar) and shuffles the limelight between different characters perfectly in the right amounts.
- The film hits the viewers right where it should and confers a riveting 153 minutes of visual and emotional grandeur.
- The production values of Gold are on point, giving the perfect feel on the 40s.
Negative Points: –
- The film could have done away with a few songs, mostly the dance sequences.
- As mentioned previously, Gold has quite some clichéd elements of Bollywood style as well as the generic sports-drama style of filmmaking.
- Though I can’t claim with surety, I guess the appeal for this movie will remain restricted among the Indian audiences owing to its patriotic theme which might water down the feeling of a sports drama for the non-Indian viewers.
Direction, Screenplay & Other Technicalities: –
It’s important to understand that the primary aim for Gold wasn’t about sports but the spirit of nationality which obviously takes the front seat here and rightly so. Had it not been the case, one could have mistaken the film as a rip off of Chak De India which it clearly isn’t. This Reema Kagti feature has its own saccharine qualities which fit perfectly for a sports movie. It has the right amount of drama and emotions conglomerated with fine cinematic execution and astute directional vision, making it an out and out entertainer. As an Indian, I look for emotions in sports films and might be among those people who would be sceptical of an artsy sports flick. So, watching a film like Gold was an exhilarating experience especially when the story centred around India’s struggle for independence. Ṭhe film captures the Indian sentiments during the Raj and also during the Partition satisfactorily. Here, not only the central character Tapan Das but a lot of characters get the centre stage time and again. This ensured that the responsibility for the film’s onscreen execution wasn’t rested upon one shoulder and it, clearly, did work wonders. The songs (except those party cum dance tracks) are excellent and help in carrying the film forward.
Having said all of this, I can’t help but point out how Gold relies on the generic sports cum Bollywood clichés to play with the audience’s emotions. However, I can’t completely go critical on that for I understand that the film wouldn’t have been half as effective if the cinematic licenses weren’t taken. Nonetheless, it’s production values and technical excellence overpower its shortcomings (along with the performances of course). Álvaro Gutiérrez’s cinematography renders the flick a visual spectacle and Anand Subaya’s editing adds to its glossiness.
Notwithstanding his imperfect Bengali accent, Akshay Kumar takes the medal home as the best performer in the film. It’s not because he is the protagonist but because he is genuinely an excellent actor and does his work meticulously and sublimely. Given his success with Padman, it seems like he has really struck gold in 2018.
Mouni Roy makes a splendid debut as the dominating yet loving wife of Tapan. She rises above her glam image and acts impeccably in a toned down avatar.
Talking about debut, Sunny Kaushal (Vicky Kaushal’s sibling) also gives a fiery performance and his tussle with Amit Sadh (who has also done a wonderful job) is one of the film’s highlights.
Vineet Singh may not have much to do here, but he does manage to leave a strong impression of his performance. The same view can be extended for Kunal Kapoor and Nikita Dutta who also shine in their short stints.
Final Verdict: –
Reema Kagti’s Gold is Bollywoodish but in the right way. It not only has some great performances from its veteran stars but also witnesses blinders from its newcomers. Despite relying on genre and industry clichés, it’s grand, both thematically and cinematically, triggering the apt emotions in its viewers in the right time instances. Have fun watching Gold and wishing all my fellow countrymen a very Happy Independence Day! Jai Hind!