Gold: The Dream That United Our Nation is an Indian 2018 Hindi-language historical sports drama film written and directed by Reema Kagti and produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani. It is based on the journey of India’s first national hockey team to the 1948 Summer Olympics and stars Akshay Kumar as Tapan Das, the man who won India its first gold medal in the 1948 Summer Olympics. Mouni Roy, in her Bollywood film debut, Amit Sadh, Vineet Kumar Singh, Kunal Kapoor, Sunny Kaushal and Nikita Dutta feature in supporting roles.
Gold was theatrically released in India on 15 August 2018, India’s Independence Day. It received generally positive reviews; critics particularly praised the film’s narrative and performances of the star cast. Critically and commercially successful, the film grossed ₹158 crore (US$22 million) at the box office. Gold also became the first Bollywood film to be released in Saudi Arabia. It was also released in Chinese theatres on 13 December 2019.
The story begins around the time of the Berlin Olympics in 1936, when the Indian team played the Hockey finals against Germany. Despite the Germans attempting to play rough against the Indian team, the Indians start winning in the second half, when the team’s assistant manager, Tapan Das (Akshay Kumar), shows them the Indian Flag during the half time break. When the captain Samrat (Kunal Kapoor) and team receive the Gold medal, the British National Anthem is played and the flag of British India is hoisted, but the Indian team promise themselves that they will win a Gold medal once again on behalf of their motherland, after India gets Independence.
The subsequent Olympics are cancelled because of World War II. After the war, a drunk and spoiled Tapan roams and loses in several bets but sobers up when he gets the news that the next Olympics will be held in London in 1948. He holds aspirations of making India play hockey as a free country, coaching a novice hockey team to earn independent India’s first Olympic gold medal at the 1948 Summer Olympics.
Tapan now struggles to win his position as a joint manager of the team and promises to bring up best players from the new generation. He manages to convince Mr. Wadia, and goes out for his work back. He meets the former Hockey Captain Samrat, now retired, to lead to guide the team. But Samrat refuses and suggests teammate Imtiaz Ali Shah (Vineet Kumar Singh). Imtiaz, a great contributor of the 1936 Olympics along with Samrat, was a soldier for Indian National Army. Tapan meets Imtiaz and they decide to continue their dream and oath to win the Gold medal for an independent India. With Independence for India looming on the horizon, Tapan travels to different parts of India to scout for the best players for the team.
Finally Tapan keeps his promise and creates the National Hockey team, taking players from several regions. Among them are Thakur Raghubir Pratap Singh (Amit Sadh) and Himmat Singh (Sunny Kaushal), a pair of talented centre forwards from Central India and Punjab.
Meanwhile India gets Independence, but is also partitioned into India and Pakistan. During a riot, Imtiaz gets injured when some Hindus tried to burn him alive, but is saved by Tapan and Himmat. They reach Imtiaz’s house cum hockey club, but to their disappointment, his house is burnt and destroyed. A heartbroken Imtiaz refuses to stay further in India and leaves for Lahore. A heartbroken Tapan narrates that along with the division of the country, their dreams and aspirations also broke apart. Half the team ends up playing for Pakistan, while a few others – mainly Anglo-Indians – move to Australia.
Tapan decides to make it on his own, and brings up the team for practice at a small Buddhist School. The head monk of the Ashram is convinced because he was a great fan of hockey and Samrat. The team is brought here through Tapan’s own money. His wife, Monobina Das (Mouni Roy), also supports and helps him realize his dreams. The training begins but there is a lack of teamwork between the players due to several conflicts. Raghubir, who keeps on his pride, always tries himself to get over the hard working Himmat. On the other hand, Devang Chaturvedi is an efficient player with wit and wisdom. Tapan and Samrat finally teach the players a lesson of unity and conclude the training. Samrat makes Devang, the captain, Raghubir, the vice Captain and tells Tapan that Himmat is a hidden treasure to be used at the right time of the Olympics.
Mr. Wadia, as a chairperson of the Hockey Council, becomes the Head Coach and Tapan is once again honoured as the Assistant Manager of the team. A jealous Mehta (Atul Kale) deceives Tapan by mixing some alcohol in his drink and an intoxicated Tapan behaves very badly in the party organized by the Hockey Council and is fired from his position, being replaced by Mehta.
The team is now brought to the Olympic level in London by Mehta, But Mehta’s usual ego and pride brings upon his bad image to the players when they complain against him. Mr. Wadia then sends for Tapan, and Tapan comes to London with the blessing of Mr. Wadia, who himself returned there from New York. The Olympics begin but Himmat is not allowed to play.
India plays well to reach and win the semi-finals. But since he is not in the player list, Himmat thinks it is a conspiracy by Raghubir just to let him down. During a celebration, Himmat starts fighting with Raghubir and a conflict grows between them, which tarnishes Himmat’s image. Devang and Raghubir try to explain to Himmat that it was Tapan who selected the player list for the game, but all in vain.
Finally, in the semi-finals, Tapan has listed Himmat to play, but since other players had complained against his behaviour the previous night, Himmat is not allowed to play. Tapan explains the reason that in the league matches, the opponent players mark the good players, and in the semi-finals or finals, they are marked making it difficult for them to play well. Although India wins the semi-finals, it turns a hard match.
In the finals, during the first half against Great Britain, the British players mark the Indians and prevent Raghubir from scoring freely as he used to do earlier in the tournament. In the next half, Himmat comes on to the pitch and scores a goal.
But rains arrive during the match, and makes it tough for the Indian team as the ground becomes wet and slippery. However, Tapan recalls his wife once telling him to take off his shoes and push a cart when it got stuck in the mud, so that his feet don’t slip. Hence, Tapan instructs his team to play barefoot. The Indians are finally able to win.
Finally, when the captain, Devang receives the Gold, the National Flag of Independent India is hoisted and the anthem “Jana Gana Mana” is played. A proud Tapan concludes the narration as the Anthem ends and tears of happiness take place.
Akshay Kumar as Tapan Das, a character inspired by NN Mukherjee
Mouni Roy as Monobina Das, Tapan’s Wife
Kunal Kapoor as Samrat, a character inspired by Dhyan Chand
Amit Sadh as Raghubir Pratap Singh, a character inspired by K. D. Singh
Vineet Kumar Singh as Imtiaz Ali Shah, a character inspired by Ali Dara
Sunny Kaushal as Himmat Singh, a character inspired by Balbir Singh Sr.
Nikita Dutta as Simran
Ivan Rodrigues as Sports Official
Lakshya Kochhar as Suryakant Pant
Joy Badlani as Mr. Harsh Kapoor
Udaybir Sandhu as Devang Chaturvedi
Bhawsheel Singh Sahni as Tej Singh Randhawa
Abdul Quadir Amin as Haries
Varun Singh Rajput as Aasim Bilal
Pravin Jaiswal as Basheer Ahmed
Atul Kale as Mr. Mehta
Darius Shroff as Mr. Wadia
Tejaswi Dev Chaudhary as Langford Adam
Scarlett Mellish Wilson as item number “Monobina”