Gold has bagged mixed reviews. The flick has the director’s signature elements but has somehow lacked novelty. Alphonse Puthren’s last directorial outing, Premam, was a blockbuster hit and has immensely raised the bar. Unfortunately, ‘Gold’ fell mildly flat in this perspective.
Cast and crew
Gold is a Malayalam- language film directed and written by Alphonse Puthren. Gold stars Prithviraj Sukumaran, Nayanthara, Shammi Thilakan. The runtime of the film is 165 minutes.
Joshi is the owner of a cellphone shop at a mall. One morning his mother wakes him up by saying that someone has parked a Bolero in front of their house. Oddly, the Bolero is loaded with speakers; or as it seemed to be. He filed a complaint, yet the police paid no heed. Later he discovered the actual load of the vehicle, and this marked an intriguing beginning of a thought-provoking story.
What is going to happen next? Who abandoned the vehicle and why? The later part of the film retorts to these questions.
After the mind-blowing Premam, Gold felt mildly flat. The central theme of Gold is the ills of gluttony. The film slowly progresses into some version of a heist movie. Gold has a lot of absurd and thought-provoking humor.
However, it seems that Gold could mark the beginning of Alphonse’s gravitating toward making films that reflect on social issues and the ongoing spiritual bankruptcy of society.
The Prithviraj and Nayanthara starrer is filled with Puthren’s signature style of edit.
The shaky-by-design camerawork, fun edits like the burnt-out colors, overlay text that has to be read along with the visuals, seemingly unrehearsed dialogues, visuals of insects, and the energetic background score. Everything is there still, the film feels strained and labored.
Puthren has exaggerated the absurdity of the moment Joshi found the Bolero to its maximum. The instant when Jhoshi finds what truly is in the Bolero brings a broad smile to his face. This scene is semantic. At that very moment, he was listening to ‘Kanneer Poovinte’ from Kireedam (1989), a tragic drama about a young man who is forced by circumstances to become a criminal. This song has another appearance in the film. It appears when Sethumadhavan (Mohanlal) firmly turns away from the innocence and joy of his old life. The whacky ‘Thanne Thanne’, that follows Joshi’s discovery is in sharp contrast to the pathos of ‘Kanneer Poovinte’ and plays up the film’s parodying tone.
Similar to Puthern’s earlier films, Gold also speaks his unique cinematic language of narrative fluidity with his idiosyncratic inserts and transition shots.
The film revolves around the theme of the ills of gluttony. Most characters in the movie are chronic consumers as they consume more than they create. The film unveiled the society, which is a society of takers and the list of givers is growing thin. ‘Idea’ Shaji (Lalu Alex) is the personified excess. He gets what he wants, and his share of consumption is endless. He is greedy too.
Prithviraj, as the combat-ready mamma’s boy, is refreshing to watch. The actor has let go of his stiffer persona and has skillfully forged some life into the one-note protagonist. Nayanthara has failed to get any substantial material. Her part in the movies was no more like a cameo. Lalu Alex and Ajmal Ameer did a fantastic job as men of excess. They brought out the meaninglessness of needless consumption, i.e., needless buys. Baburaj delivered a subtle but effective performance.
The film also has an unnecessary cameo of artists. The parade of stars felt never-ending and was forgotten instantly throughout the movie. Stars like Sharafudheen, Roshan Mathew, Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon, Soubin Shahir, and quite a few others appeared, as if in a roll call of actors in contemporary Malayalam cinema.
Clearly, after a wait of 7 long years, Gold did not quite fulfill the expectations. But keeping the biases aside, Gold is an interesting film. Viewers can enjoy films like Gold by simply being in the moment. Expecting the narrative to take you someplace else might prove slightly disappointing.