'If you can dream it, you can do it', this popular quote by Walt Disney pretty much sums up what Akshay Kumar's character in Gold stands for. To be honest, this Reema Kagti directorial isn't just a sports drama or a film about patriotic sentiments. It paints a larger picture about how it takes sweat, courage, determination and hard work to make one's dream come true.
Gold opens in 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Nope, Akshay Kumar's Tapan Das isn't the star player on the hockey field. Instead, he's the 'hey you' of the British India's national hockey team. When the boys win the match and stand on the podium to receive the medal, Tapan who is the team's manager vows with a hand on the Tricolour, to win the gold medal for a free India. Echoing a similar sentiment is the match's star captain Samrat (Kunal Kapoor) and Imtiaz (Vineet Singh).
But when the Olympics take a backseat with the World War II raging and India on the other hand, on the brink of achieving freedom, Tapan finds solace in alcohol and indulging in fraud activities. Until the 1948 Olympics is announced and he finds it a perfect opportunity to seek revenge from the British Raj and win the gold and see the Indian flag furling high on British soil. Of course, the journey isn't going to be easy. But Tapan is crystal clear- 'Hum Ek Pagal Bengali Hain, Hum Hockey Se Pyaar Karta Hai, Apna Desh Se Pyaar Karta Hai.'
Director Reema Kagti weaves an interesting plot around a newly Independent nation winning a hockey Olympic gold for the first time under its own flag. She succeeds in infusing the right blend of emotions and patriotism to make you feel proud as an Indian. The first half of the film has you hooked to the word T. Post interval, Gold loses its sheen at few places. A couple of sub-plots will even give you a deja vu of Shahrukh Khan's Chak De India! Having said that, it's Akshay Kumar's emotional scene towards the finale which makes you say, 'All's well that ends well.'
It's refreshing to watch Akshay Kumar step aside from the centrestage and let his co-stars sparkle in many scenes. As the dhoti-clad team manager, he succeeds in giving many layers to his character and makes you emotionally resonate with him. Mouni Roy as his hot-headed wife shares a firebrand crackling chemistry with him and lits up the screen with her terrific presence.
Amit Sadh as Raghubir Pratap Singh leaves you highly impressed with his top-notch performance. Sunny Kaushal is a talent to watch out in future. Vineet Singh leaves a lasting impression. Kunal Kapoor too gives you reasons to cheer.
On the flip side, the poor VFX of the stadium crowd is a sore sight and the film could have been made tauter by few minutes to make you even more gripping.
Speaking about the music, barring Monobina, Naino Ne Baandhi and the title track, the others don't linger for long.
Akshay Kumar's Gold shines bright with the stellar performances and Reema Kagti's engaging narrative. At a point in Gold, one of the characters tell the other, "Jis Tarha Khel Mein Ball Ko Pass Kiya Jata Hai, Kabhi Kabhi Zindagi Mein Apne Supno Ko Pass Karna Padta Hai". Reema's creative vision translates on the celluloid quite seamlessly with Akshay & Co's honest acts. I am going with 3.5 stars.