A tribute to India’s first Olympic medal as a free nation, which came from field hockey at London Olympics 1948, GOLD is the journey of Tapan Das [ Akshay Kumar ], loosely based on the real life hockey administrator Pankaj Gupta, who gives it all to see the flag of Free India fluttering high at London Olympics during the victory ceremony, something he couldn’t see as an assistant manager at Berlin Olympics 1936.
The very first thing that deserves praise is the concept of this movie. India is not blessed with many sports dramas, especially quality ones. The ones that we can be proud of come on our fingertips, for e.g. Chak De India, Lagaan, Paan Singh Tomar etc.
In such a scenario, even thinking of portraying the struggle that went into giving an independent India its first Olympic gold medal is nothing less than phenomenal, and for that the brains behind this movie, Rajesh Devraj and Reema Kagti deserve some serious applause.
Another good thing about GOLD is their focus on the historic authenticity. Often Bollywood has been accused of grossly distorting history, showing anachronous settings or facts that peddle their agenda. However, from the backgrounds, to the dictions, GOLD has rarely any moment that can be panned for anachronism. A huge credit goes to the cinematography team that took real pains to keep the film authentic for the era it represented.
The soundtrack is impressive as well. If we leave the exception of ‘Chadh Gayi Hai’ aside, the overall soundtrack of GOLD, as composed jointly by Tanishk Bagchi, Arko Pravo Mukherjee and music duo Sachin – Jigar is quite refreshing and keeps us engrossed throughout. From the sweet ‘Naino Ne Bandhi’, to the adrenaline pumping ‘Khel Khel Mein’ and ‘Ghar Layenge Gold’, to even the wacky and unorthodox ‘Monobina’, each song has its own charm.
After seeing this movie, I would personally say: Reema Kagti and Akshay Kumar, take a bow. This duo has created a wholesome entertainer that takes its time to build, but like a mouth watering cake, they leave everyone satisfied to their heart’s content. Akshay Kumar has once again proved why he has regained his status as the socially conscious actor, and has certainly made amends for his otherwise average stint in Padman.
Akshay Kumar almost single-handedly steers the ship of GOLD clear with his effortless role as the maverick ‘Bengali’ manager Tapan Das. Akshay Kumar shines in this role brilliantly. Equally awesome are actors Kunal Kapoor and Vineet Kumar Singh, who essay the roles of hockey great Samrat [based on legendary Major Dhyan Chand] and Imtiaz Shah [based on ex INA soldier turned Pakistan captain Ali Iqtidar Shah Dara]respectively.
However, the loudest round of applause should be reserved for Amit Sadh as the brilliant but egotist Raghubir Pratap Singh [based loosely on KD Singh ‘Babu’] and debutant Sunny Kaushal as the hardcore nationalist Himmat Singh [based on the legendary centre forward Balbir Singh Dosanjh] , who deliver their best in fulfilling the long held dream of Tapan Das.
Likewise, Mouni Roy, who has comparatively made a late debut in Bollywood, has surprised one and all with her effortless rendition of Monobina Das , the no nonsense wife of Tapan, who doesn’t like to believe in the concept of a gentle woman. Both her husband’s dearest supporter and his fiercest critic, Mouni’s performance makes us wonder as to why did Indian television waste her immense talent with pathetic shows like Naagin!
Another facet that shines is the second half of the movie. Compared to a tad slow first half, the second half takes off smoothly and keeps one engrossed throughout. I’m strictly against spoilers, but the climax shines on the horizon, and compels everyone to feel proud of the legendary victory we had once achieved at London Olympics 1948.
What could’ve been better:
Though there are no serious issues with GOLD, there were a few unavoidable glitches this film could’ve avoided. Both Mouni Roy and Nikita Dutta, who made their movie debut with GOLD, had impressive roles, but they could’ve been given more space, which would’ve made their characters unforgettable.
Another issue was the slow pacing in the first half, along with patchy VFX in some scenes, especially when India was playing the matches, which could’ve been averted. Though the soundtrack wasn’t bad, one of them, ‘Chadh Gayi Hai’, wasn’t exactly needed, and could’ve been avoided altogether.
Overall, Akshay Kumar starrer GOLD is a pure masala entertainer that gives a fitting tribute to the trials and tribulations that surrounded India’s first victory as a free nation at any major sporting event in the world. Had the glitches been avoided, it could’ve been a perfect treat for Independence Day, but still GOLD is not worth missing! The only people disappointed with this movie would be the ones, for whom being pro India is some sort of apostasy.
I’d give Gold 4 stars from 5! Don’t miss this!