Gold: The Dream That United Our Nation (2018)
A Quick Film Review
Once things get underway, Gold is a fairly conventional sports success story, inspired by India's 1949 gold medal-winning team at London 1948. Set amidst the turbulent times of India's emerging political break from Great Britain's rule, the real world facts are, after three consecutive gold medals representing British India and an eight-year gap in the Olympic schedule due to World War II, India wins its first Olympic title as an independent nation in 1948. And that win - in London - comes at the expense of Great Britain itself, finally reappearing at the Games after a 20 years absence. By the way, India would also win the next two Olympic titles, cementing its place in dynastic legends of the Games.
Along the way, there are requisite obstacles - Nazis, the British, sociopolitical turmoil, bureaucrats, and team infighting. Tapan Das, a fictional character, overcomes a lackluster reputation to build a winning team that lifts the spirit of the new nation.
Gold has a nice look, filmed crisply and colorfully. And, it is certainly refreshing to see a movie devoted to such a lesser-known (in the U.S.) Olympic sport. One can accept most of the film's artistic and dramatic license on the specific details of the path to Olympic gold - remember that opening disclaimer noted above. But Gold really presses the patience with India's gold medal match, presenting a score of 4-3 over Great Britain - in the rain! barefoot! - when in actuality they won in a pedestrian 4-0.
If you can look past all the "creative liberties", it's a light and uplifting couple of hours, especially for an Olympic sports-obsessed viewer...and one that respects the sport's status in India.
p.s. Who doesn't appreciate a couple of musical Bollywood interludes?