Akshay Kumar’s penchant for picking socially relevant subjects continues as he picks on a story on familiar territory, but from an unexplored backdrop. The story attempts to strike a patriotic chord as a Bengali coach Tapan Das harbours a dream to see India succeed in hockey as a free nation.
An intriguing match between British India lead under the captaincy of Samrat (Kunal Kapoor) against Germany sets up the pace for the story, but the victory of Indian players in 1936 bears no happiness as they continue to be ruled by Britishers. The scene where Akshay Kumar takes out an Indian flag barely for a few seconds to bring an unmatched sense of patriotism on the faces of his team is representative of the pain and hardwork that the countrymen faced against the Britishers. After bagging the third Gold for the British colony, Akshay Kumar (Tapan Das) and Kunal Kapoor (Samrat) take an oath to win a gold as a free nation, but their dreams are shattered due to partition. Tapan, takes to the alcohol as his players separate and the most painful separation happens to be of Imtiaz (Vineet Kumar Singh) who has to go to Pakistan. Tapan’s nagging wife Mouni Roy, who marks her debut with this movie, makes an effort to get him out of his sorry state and finally, he takes the onus of reuniting the team for the next Olympics, which is to begin right after India’s independence.
Well, the execution of how each player contributes to bring India the Gold medal as an independent country is what makes for a compelling watch. We have powerhouse performers like Amit Sadh as Raghubir Pratap Singh, a self-centred overtly ambitious rich man who aspires to see slogans of his name, a hot-headed yet emotional Himmat Singh (Sunny Kaushal) who is an asset to the team, Imtiaz, the man with a calm and composed nature and Samrat, the master who teaches the players lessons in team spirit alongwith an enthusiastic Tapan Das. The cold vibes between the characters of Raghubir and Himmat Singh are similar to the ones we saw between Preeti Sabharwal and Komal Chautala in Chak De! India, but the actors’ performances as they try to outdo each other in the sport is worth a watch. Well, this may not be Sunny Kaushal’s first movie, but it can definitely be called THE debut movie for the young lad. Mouni Roy packs in a good performance, her Bengali roots came in handy, but Akshay Kumar seems a bit too forced in certain scenes. Kunal Kapoor enjoys a short and sweet screenspace, whereas Amit Sadh brings his A-game here too.
The background score by Sachin-Jigar is definitely a bonus and the title track Ghar Layenge Gold in the voice of Daler Mehndi is one of the best tracks of the entire album. Monobina adds the old-world charm whereas Naino Ne Baandhi could have well been avoided. The screenplay by Rajesh Devraj and the cinematography by Alvaro Gutierrez hold the story very well, but the editing could’ve been crisper.
Nonetheless, Gold manages to evoke the true feeling of patriotism for one’s motherland and definitely deserves to be on your watch-list this Independence Day.