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Gold movie review: Alphonse Puthren reflects on greed in this Prithviraj starrer

Rating: 3 out of 5

Gold review: This could be the beginning of Alphonse Puthren gravitating towards making films that reflect on social issues and the ongoing spiritual bankruptcy of society.

Gold reviewGold has hit theatres across India.

Filmmaker Alphonse Puthren’s last directorial outing, Premam, caused an earthquake of sorts in the film industry. Starring Nivin Pauly in the lead, the film followed a man’s journey to find love through various stages of life. It takes a long time for the hero to find the woman of his dreams, but when he finally does, the moment is so perfect. It gets etched in your memory. If you are the same age as George David, you may relate to the scene. If you are younger than him, it may give you hope that life will work itself out.

Alphonse’s Gold also has a generous amount of optimism packed into it, though it is not expansive like Premam. Joshi S Kunjan (Prithviraj Sukumaran) wakes up to find a truck hastily parked outisde his house, blocking its front gate. Prodded by his mother (played by Prithviraj’s mother Mallika Sukumaran) Joshi goes to investigate the strange pickup truck. He checks the cargo, which is about 200 boxes of portable speakers. As a law-abiding citizen, he goes straight to the cops to report the suspicious vehicle. But, it so happens that the situation at the police station mirrors his own. A lorry carrying massive timber logs has broken down blocking the entrance to the station. The whole station is under stress, so Joshi’s complaint takes a backseat.

While Joshi is frustrated that he’s unable to bring his new car inside the compound of house, courtesy of the abandoned pickup, in the next few scenes he will realise that he’s sitting on a gold mine.

The film slowly develops into some version of a heist movie replete with absurd and thought-provoking humour. Yes, you heard it right, thought-provoking. Well, it seems Gold could be the beginning of Alphonse gravitating towards making films that reflect on social issues and the ongoing spiritual bankruptcy of society.

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The ills of gluttony are the main theme of Gold. Most characters in the film are chronic consumers. They consume more than they create. Few people have so much money that they don’t know what to do with it. Many people have nothing and have no idea where to find some. We are devolving into a society of takers and the list of givers is growing thin. ‘Idea’ Shaji (Lalu Alex) is the personification of excess. It seems he can never run out of things to eat or drink. He’s always on the prowl to take things from others. And when he gets what he wants, he doesn’t know what he wants to do with it. Yet, he wants everything he lays his eyes on. On the other hand, we meet a broken man who is overjoyed when he makes a little bit of money, which allows him to buy his starving children a tasty breakfast from a local eatery.

Lalu Alex and Ajmal Ameer do a fantastic job as men of excess. They bring out the meaninglessness of buying one expensive thing after another. In their hands, all the expensive things, including money and iPhones, lose value. Baburaj delivers a memorable performance, which is subtle but effective. He’s in an occupation where he’s presented with many temptations to take things that don’t belong to him. But, he never allows himself to indulge. He cuts a sane presence in a self-consuming world. Nayanthara’s Sumangali Unnikrishnan is also the byproduct of over-indulgent lifestyle but she’s not beyond saving. That said, the film has failed to value her talent. She is just an expensive presence in the cast with nothing much to do.

How do you enjoy an Alphonse Puthren film? By simply being in the moment. If you expect the narrative to take you someplace else, you might be left disappointed. Instead, if you choose to enjoy what the film is offering you at any given moment, you will find entertainment. Like life, in Alphonse’s films, it’s not the destination but the journey that matters.

First published on: 01-12-2022 at 16:58 IST
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