Thursday, August 16, 2018
facebook

google plus


Strikes home and touches a chordA poster of Gold. Photo: Twitter
Movie Review: Gold

Strikes home and touches a chord

15 Aug 2018 | 6:05 PM

Film: Gold

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Kunal Kapoor, Mouni Roy , Amit Sadh, Vineet Kumar Singh and SunnyKaushal

Director: Reema Kagti

[ + read story ]

Nonika Singh 

Reliving the golden moment, Indian hockey’s first Olympic gold medal won way back in 1948, is just the reminder one needs around India’s 72nd Independence Day. Expectedly the film is as high on India’s national game hockey as the patriotic sentiments. Avenging 200 years of slavery with a sporting victory might sound a bit stretched out thought. But if you place the movie in the right context it does make a whole lot of sense.

Not that the film is a factual lesson in history. Of course, the pre-independence period is the backdrop for a major part of the film. As it begins with the British Indian team picking up the gold in 1936 Berlin Olympics, it also shows the birth of a dream dreamt by one particular individual.

Akshay Kumar as Tapan Das is the man who not only guides the hockey team to victory but also the film. The lead actor as also its anchor, it is his voice that takes us through the dramatic highs and lows of the narrative. 

Certainly the film has many Bollywood moments, songs, especially Chad gayi hai, are thoroughly unnecessary. When the deputy manager of Indian hockey team says; now Tapan Das will entertain you with a song and he duly obliges, you are almost tempted to make a dig. But Akshay is not here to entertain but to inspire. Not just the team which he leads by becoming its manager but the audiences as well. 

Indeed, Gold is an inspirational film with dollops of patriotic fervour thrown in for good measure. However, the film stays with its core subject hockey too. And the most refreshing part is that a woman has helmed this sports film. 

Reema Kagti as the director of the ship is brilliant and in the execution of hockey scenes nowhere do you feel that the playing technique of the game is not in capable hands. The hockey scenes offer you all the excitement and adrenaline rush. Even though you know the climax, Kagti keeps you on tenterhooks and during the proceedings even manages to plant the seed of doubt… did India really win the match? 

As for extracting performances from its talented cast led by superstar Akshay Kumar, well Akshay’s Bengali diction may not be consistent but as a man possessed with getting a medal for free India, his is an earnest act. How he builds the team, not just once but twice over are the highpoints that grab your attention. The partition saga only figures to depict how India lost its probable captain to Pakistan. Vineet Kumar Singh as Imtiaz Shah doesn’t get too many scenes but makes a solid impact nevertheless. 

Of course, the real scene stealer is Amit Sadh (Raghubir Pratap Singh) As the royal member of the team hailing from an exalted blue blood family, he gets his posture as well as chutzpah right and wears the enormity of his being up his sleeve with aplomb. And keeping him company is Sunny Kaushal playing hockey player Himmat Singh. In the film, he may get a chance to play only in the final match of Olympics, but he gets all his moves right. As they say in Punjabi he is truly in chadi kalan. Mouni Roy makes a decent debut and looks lovely as the Bengali wife who gives the all-important lesson to her husband Tapan.

Did the Indian hockey team actually play barefoot, was the team’s unity split wide open and were there men like Tapan Das constantly egging the team? Rest assured, google won’t give easy answers for there is more fiction than fact here. But yes hockey legend Balbir Singh Senior, part of the winning team back then, has time and again admitted to feeling highly patriotic at that moment of glory. No wonder, the film closes by playing the ultimate patriotic card; National Anthem which we all know never fails to move, not even the most sceptical.

So go ahead a dash of patriotism, even in days of manufactured nationalism, can only be uplifting. To make it simple, the answer to whether the film lies in the viewing category, is a resounding yes.

Tried, tested and tiredMovie Review: Vishwaroop 2

Tried, tested and tired

10 Aug 2018 | 6:48 PMstarhalfstaremptyStaremptyStaremptyStar

Film: Vishwaroop 2

Cast: Kamal Haasan, Rahul Bose, Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah, Shekhar Kapur

Director: Kamal Haasan

Wearisome fantasyMovie Review: Christopher Robin

Wearisome fantasy

10 Aug 2018 | 6:53 PMstarstaremptyStaremptyStaremptyStar

Film: Christopher Robin

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael, Mark Gatiss, Jim Cummings, Chris O'Dowd, Nick Mohammed, Brad Garrett, Peter Capaldi, Sophie Okonedo, Toby Jones

Director: Marc Forster

Writer: Alex Perry, Allison Schroeder, Tom Mccarthy

Reflecting the true essence of nationalismMovie Review: Mulk

Reflecting the true essence of nationalism

03 Aug 2018 | 6:15 PMstarstarstarhalfstaremptyStar

Film: Mulk

Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Prateik Babbar, Rajat Kapoor, Taapsee Pannu, Ashutosh Rana, Manoj Pahwa, Neena Gupta and Kumud Mishra

Director: Anubhav Sinha

An encore that taps into glorious nostalgiaMovie Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

An encore that taps into glorious nostalgia

03 Aug 2018 | 6:14 PMstarstarstaremptyStaremptyStar

Film: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Lily James, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Meryl Streep, Cher, Andy Garcia, Alexa Davies, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Josh Dylan, Jeremy Irvine, Hugh Skinner, Dominic Cooper, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski.

Director: Ol Parker

Dancing away to gloryMovie Review: Ashke

Dancing away to glory

27 Jul 2018 | 7:39 PMstarstarstarhalfstaremptyStar

Movie: Ashke

Star cast: Amrinder Gill, Sanjeeda Shaikh, Sarabjit Cheema, Jaswinder Bhalla, Hardeep Gill, Vandana Chopra, Avi Randhawa, Roopi Gill

Director: Amberdeep Singh

This one is for adrenaline junkiesMovie Review: Mission: Impossible-Fallout

This one is for adrenaline junkies

27 Jul 2018 | 7:37 PMstarstarstaremptyStaremptyStar

Film: Mission: Impossible-Fallout

Cast: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Vanessa Kirby, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Wes Bentley, Frederick Schmidt, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin, Michelle Monaghan, Angela Bassett, Sian Brooke

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Writer: Christopher Mcquarrie, Dylan Kussman

Royal deceitMovie Review: Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster 3

Royal deceit

27 Jul 2018 | 7:35 PMstarstaremptyStaremptyStaremptyStar

Film: Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster 3

Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Jimmy Sheirgill, Mahie Gill, Chitrangada Singh, Soha Ali Khan, Kabir Bedi, Deepak Tijori, Pamela Bhutoria

Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia

LIFE+STYLE
  • SpectrumA son remembers

    A son remembers

    I am alone as I write about my late father, Neeraj. Though my journey with Babuji is of 44 years only, I’m trying to cram a century in his story. It is going to be a little difficult to capture the memories of 90-odd years in 1,000 words.

  • His words will live on ...

    Our City Beautiful was then a vast green expanse. Malls had yet not raised their humungous heads in the meadows of its beauty and Sector 17 was the only happening hub.

  • The budding Punjab of Canada

    Brain drain is a serious cause of concern for many developing countries, including India. No other region in India has a more pronounced effect of it than Punjab. Everyone in the state knows someone who lives and works abroad.

more Spectrum...

YOUR WORLD AND YOU