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Is Akshay Kumar's Gold actually based on a real-life character? 

While director Reema Kagti implied that Akshay Kumar's character was 'loosely inspired' from a real person, producer Ritesh Sidhwani had asserted in an interview some time ago that the film is a 'completely fictional story'. 

Shriram Iyengar

With the second poster of Reema Kagti's Gold out, the film seems to be heading for a 15 August release. However, the nature of the film's subject remains a matter of speculation. While director Reema Kagti implied in a recent interview with a tabloid that the film's lead protagonist, played by Akshay Kumar, is based on the manager of the Indian hockey squad in the 1948 Olympics, producer Ritesh Sidhwani, in another report, insisted that the film's story is 'completely fictional' and 'not based on any character'.

The second poster of the film features Akshay, as the manager of independent India's first gold medal-winning hockey team. While the first poster captured an introspective Akshay, the latest poster captures the determination and passion of the individuals involved in the quest. The poster also gives a glimpse of the entire team which fought to win India's first gold at the 1948 London Olympics.

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

However, producer Sidhwani and director Kagti seem to have differing views about the nature of the film's story. While both agree that the film is not a 'biopic', Sidhwani was quoted as saying the film is 'completely fictional'.

In an interaction that was published by the daily Mumbai Mirror today, Kagti implied that she came upon the story after her friend, Ankur Tiwari, pointed it out to her. It was the character of the coach, AC Chatterjee (according to The Hindu archives), who caught her eye.

In the report, Kagti was quoted saying, "His life has loosely inspired Akshay Kumar’s character who, in a bid to galvanise the players in Berlin, pulls out the flag of the Indian National Congress in the locker room during half-time. The flag was banned in Germany at the time but still inspired respect and all the players saluted it. That incident is a defining moment in the inception of my film." It is this 'defining moment' that finds expression in the poster.

Scoring gold: How sports films became popular in India

On the other hand, Sidhwani, speaking to news agency PTI in December, had said, "It is not a biopic. It is a completely fictional story, but it is set against a real backdrop between 1933-48 India about what the country was, the sports...about hockey. It is not based on any character."

Sidhwani went on to point out that while the film is 'set against real events', it is not based on a particular character.

2018 has already seen six films (Pad Man, Omerta, Raazi, Raid, Hichki, Parmanu: The Story Of Pokhran) that were loosely based on real-life incidents, and Gold seems to be walking the same line.

Hindi cinema's growing obsession with the past

The film is co-produced by Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar's Excel Entertainment. The film will also feature Amit Sadh, Mouni Roy, Kunal Kapoor, and Lakshya Kocchar.

Gold will be released on 15 August.