Gold, puffed up with pride

Gold

Hindi (U/A)

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Kunal Kapoor, Sunny Kaushal, Amit Sadh, Mouni Roy

Director: Reema Kagti

Rating: 3 stars

Some movies don't hold any mystery. Still they consume you. Precisely for two reasons: sports and a tricolour fluttering high in the end.

Gold taps into the mines of patriotism with a series of crowd-pleasing strokes. The story lacks nuance, and the events are just an excuse to march to the thumping climax — of the underdog getting even with the oppressor. The build-up may be hollow, but a victory stand-national anthem combo rarely goes wrong. 

That's not to snatch away the credit for all the glorious goosebumps moments from this Akshay Kumar-starrer. As Tapan Das, Akshay has his heart in the right place, but insists on wearing it on the sleeve. And the hockey team manager pays a huge price for it in an India that has newly tasted freedom.

Digging into a pie of the nation's hockey history, Gold begins with the exploits of Dhyan Chand, the iconic centre-forward who led India to an 8-1 victory against Germany in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Kunal Kapoor plays the hockey wizard who made even Hitler sit up and take notice.

But the game changes after freedom. The cracks of Partition split up sports too, with many players finding themselves in Lahore, on the Pakistani team. The movie tracks free India's journey to gold in the 1948 London Olympics where they trump the former coloniser on their home turf.

Akshay Kumar is in his familiar nationalism territory, albeit with an alien Bengali accent. He manages to avenge '200 years of slavery' though. Mouni Roy, his feisty wife, has a mind and pout of her own. The bunch of hockey players does a good job, but the film is not in the Chak De India, Lagaan league.

This Gold never glitters, but gives a glint in the eye and a lump in the throat when the 'tiranga' rises.

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Gold, puffed up with pride

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