Although the poster has Akshay Kumar standing in the foreground with a team of hockey players in the background Reema Kagti’s Gold has no resemblance to Shimit Amin’s Shah Rukh Khan starrer Chak De. Explains Reema, “Just because hockey is the sport at the backdrop of my film it will be compared with Chak De. But why can’t two films on the same sport co-exist? Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan and Neeraj Pandey’s M. S. Dhoni – The Untold Story are based on cricket. But they are very different films. There is room for two films based on a game of hockey as well.”
Gold is the real story of India winning its first gold medal at the Olympics in 1948. However only the backdrop is real. All the other incidents woven into the 1948 Olympian triumph are fictional. Says Reema, “I was always interested in the great sports films. I can watch them over and over again. And I wanted to direct a sports film. It wasn’t until my friend the lyricist-writer Ankur Tiwari shared the idea of a film on a historic hockey match that India played at the 1948 Olympics and brought home India’s first gold medal, that I finally got down to doing my own sports film.”
Reema is prompt to stress that the film, scripted by Rajesh Devraj, is not a historical account of the actual game. “Mine is a fictional take on what actually happened. The game of hockey features prominently in the plot. But there is also a strong human drama playing at the forefront. And it isn’t just the Olympics victory in 1948 we are looking at. Gold looks at 12 crucial years in India’s history.”
Interestingly Olympian hockey player Sandeep Singh whose life has been filmed into a bio-pic Soorma directed by Shaad Ali, trained Akshay Kumar to look sufficiently skilled on the hockey field.