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Gold teaser: Akshay Kumar steps into the shoes of hockey manager AC Chatterjee

Director Reema Kagti's film tells the story of independent India’s first Olympic gold medal.

Mayur Lookhar

During the promotions of Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (2017) last year, Akshay Kumar was asked about the preparation he was doing for his role as a hockey player in Reema Kagti’s Gold.

“Who told you I’m playing a hockey player?” the star shot back.

One thought Akshay Kumar was merely trying to fob the questioner off. After all, producers these days do not want any information about their projects to be given out prematurely.

Now, however, it turns out that Akshay Kumar was telling the truth. The makers of Gold released the teaser today and Akshay Kumar is indeed not part of the playing squad. Instead, he plays the manager of independent India’s first gold-medal-winning team that beat erstwhile rulers Great Britain in the final of the 1948 London Olympics.

While India had earlier won the hockey gold in the 1928, 1932, and 1936 Olympics with the great Dhyan Chand, that squad played under the Union Jack. London 1948 was when the team played under the Tricolour for the first time.

At the outset, Akshay Kumar introduces his character as a "mad Bengali who is passionate about football and hockey". We did a quick search and found that one Bengali had indeed played a crucial role in independent India’s maiden Olympic gold medal. And that Bengali was the team's manager, AC Chatterjee.

Hockey has lost its appeal in India today with the team sliding down the world rankings over the past three decades. But Gold is likely to remind us of the powerhouse that India once was.

One thing that strikes you about Gold is that unlike in Airlift (2016) and Pad Man (2018), where the heroism of a Malayalee (Mathunny Mathew) and a Tamil (Arunachalam Muruganantham) are told using a Punjabi protagonist, director Reema Kagti has retained a Bengali character as her hero.

The Bengalis will, for certain, be very particular about how Akshay Kumar portrays this role, but all credit to him for taking up the challenge. We have heard him speak the language a bit in films like Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007) and Special 26 (2013) and can't wait to hear some more. 

The fast-moving teaser does not give much of the plot away. What it has, however, are passion, aggression and an adrenalin rush. Then there is the Partition angle, and the usual dose of song and dance. After all, the film is set in 1948, when Indian cinema had already started making a song and dance about, well, song and dance.

Television star Mouni Roy, who is making her film debut with Gold, is, perhaps, playing someone close to Chatterjee. The likes of Amit Sadh and Kunal Kapoor can be spotted among the players. However, neither plays Balbir Singh Sr, one of the game's greatest centre-forwards, who played a pivotal role in India’s tirumph and went on to achieve legendary status.

While we have seen Chak De! India (2007) before, it would be wrong to describe Gold as Akshay Kumar enjoying his own Chak De moment. Gold has all the elements for creating its own history. The Gold rush begins with this gripping teaser.  Watch it below. 

Gold is scheduled to be released on Independence Day this year. Click here to let us know how you think the film will fare at the box office.