Period or contemporary? That’s the question. Gold is set in the 1940s. Satyamev Jayate (SJ) unfolds in today’s times. Period films are by their very nature restricted in appeal. On other hand an anti-corruption vigilante film is hardly the stuff innovative entertainers are made of. Either way, nothing new.
This is the second time that Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar’s Excel Entertainment is clashing with another big film on a patriotic holiday weekend. Last year it was Ritesh-Farhan’s Raees against Rakesh Roshan-Sanjay Gupta’s Kaabil on Republic Day. Both underperformed.
John or Akshay? John has always had a massive Akshay fixation. He is now pitching for the same patriotic space that Akshay owns. Whether audiences will accept John as a flag-waving jingoistic hero remains to be seen. Akshay has incontrovertible viewership in the nationalistic slot. Jai Ho.
The Comfort of the familiar: Both Gold and SJ revel in the expected. Gold’s motivational sports drama has been done umpteen times. It doesn’t mean the theme has lost its sheen. The vivid colour of the flag never pale. As for SJ, John and Manoj take on corruption headlong. Haven’t we see screen heroes do that over and over again?
Box-office bet: Akshay has an impeccable reputation of delivering hits on Republic Day. Rustom was a big hit in this slot. Also Chak De another film revolving around the game of hockey, was released for Independence Day in 2007. On the other hand John Abraham is new to the Independence day slot. Let’s see if he can weave his Parmaanu magic again.
Directorial credentials: Reema Kagti who directs Gold has earlier done done acclaimed films like Honey Travels Pvt Ltd and Talaash. Milap Zaveri has been associated with entertainers in the past, but this will be a new territory for him.
John returns fresh on the heels of the surprise success of Parmanu. The film’s patently patriotic pitched proved flag-waving is not only Akshay Kumar’s domain.
Both the Republic Day releases this year rely entirely on their leading man’s star power. Mouni Roy and Aisha Sharma are new to the large screen.
Gold as a film title has never been used in Hindi cinema. Satyamev Jayate was the title of a slick but average Raj Sippy-directed cops film in 1989 with which Vinod Khanna made a comeback to films after a long hiatus. Will Satyamev Jayate strike Gold at the box-office?
Akshay Kumar’s Bengali accent in Gold is way too thick. Experience has shown that lead actors doing accents in Bollywood films don’t work. Will the critics be wooed by his accent or by John’s intense, angry looks and action? The verdict is out on both.