The fact that its span takes us over one of the most tumultuous time in the history of world and India makes it even more stirring. Well done Akshay Kumar and Reema Kagti for choosing the right subject and delivering a crackling film. And then, extra marks to Akshay for delivering an engrossing performance. While walking into the theatre, I had misgivings about Akshay playing a Bengali but he has managed the act with finesse. He is also secure in his space and lets others shine. Akshay is not the hockey captain, the coach or the manager; he is just a man with a dream. During the most important moments of the film, he is either outvoted or left behind. As the superstar in the film, he leads but gives space to others wherever needed. That perhaps is the biggest achievement of Gold-it fleshes out its characters, giving everybody a space to breathe. Thanks to Akshay sharing the spotlight, an ensemble cast can rise and shine. There's Kunal Kapoor's erstwhile hockey captain and Vineet Singh's Muslim vice-captain and a freedom fighter. However, the team's dynamics and its inner push-and-pull are presented through the competition between Raghubir Pratap Singh (Amit Sadh) and Himmat Singh (Sunny Kaushal). Different in circumstances and demeanours, they give us a major Chak De! Deja vu during Gold. Mouni Roy as Akshay's wife Monobina is just the right mixture of crotchety and charming. With her grasp of Bengali, she brings that extra something to the film's milieu. Akshay and Mouni's scenes together are the spice that Gold needed; she takes down her husband a notch or two every time they are together. Patriotism is also weaved in nicely given it is the Independence Day release and is a sports drama that has a country avenging decades of slavery. You know who is going to win, you know what is going to happen in the middle and you know National Anthem will play before it is over, but it is August 15 and you're prepared. More than manipulation, it is the predictability that can become bit of a drag at certain places. For instance, if there are two centre forwards vying to be the star of the team, you know there will be a male appropriation of the 'Komal, dikha de us launde ko' moment. There are many such scenes in the film that feel obvious but such is the tenor of the film that you bob along. Overall, Gold is a well plotted drama that sometimes devolves into schmaltz and melodrama. However, it gives us solid two-and-half hours of tricolour hued entertainment. We suggest XL sized popcorn tubs.