The Gold Medal (1984) is one of those unfortunate movies which take an extra-ordinary time in getting completed (this way or that way) and / or released. Though this was the case with the immortal Mughal-e-Aazam also but that’s an exception. Mostly such movies which get completed at a crawling pace or released years later than they were made, render a feeling of staleness to the audience who rejects them outright irrespective of their entertainment value. Sometimes such movies suffer from continuity jerks too (because of dates problem of the principal characters) and that also goes against them. The Gold Medal boasts of stars like Jeetendra, Raakhee Gulzar, Shatrughan Sinha and Dharmendra (in a guest appearance) and it has been directed by Raveekant Nagaich who had earned a good name in the field of making entertaining crime-thrillers for around one and a half decade but its staleness invited its doom.
Please don’t get confused by the title of the movie because the gold medal here does not refer to the gold medal won by anybody in some contest or examination. Here it refers to the identification symbol of the members of a criminal gang. All trusted members of that gang are given gold medals (containing the logo of the gang) by their boss. Our hero could arrange a gold medal for him only in the climax but gets exposed before the gangleader before he could get it and then the action-packed ending scenes take place to bring an end to the story.The Gold Medal starts with the killing of an honest, sincere and dedicated trade union leader (Dharmendra) who has been taking on the management of a factory for the cause of the workers. The owner of the factory (K.N. Singh) is not only a greedy and corrupt industrialist but also a traitor who arranges fracases, riots and unrest in India for enemy countries as well as the corrupt fellows like him and gets handsomely paid for every such misdeed. His criminal gang is involved in smuggling activities too. After masterminding the killing of the union leader, he tries to buy the integrity of the second most significant union leader (Shatrughan Sinha) but fails. However he has many other ways to handle this another honest man which he applies on him.
On the other hand, the case of catching the murderers of the union leader as well as eliminating this dangerous anti-national gang is handed over by the head of the Indian intelligence wing (David) to two of his efficient agents who are the hero (Jeetendra) and the heroine (Raakhee). The original clue to start the investigation is a gold medal found with the dead body of a member of this gang. How our hero and the heroine reach the core of this gang and eliminate it, forms the remaining part of the story.The Gold Medal is an entertaining crime-thriller made in the style of the seventies. But the problem is the same as mentioned by me in the beginning of this review. The movie got released in 1984 but just by passing through certain scenes of it, it becomes evident to the viewer that its making must have started at least a decade prior to that. The youthfulness visible on the faces of Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Shatrughan Sinha and Raakhee explains the long journey of its making and release in the fraction of a moment. The sets, the presentation style, the actors, the action sequences, the songs and dances; just everything evidences that it is a movie of the early seventies and not the eighties. Hence it appears that the audience of the eighties could not accept it
Besides, the movie suffers from continuity jerks and unbalance too. The footage got by the heroine, i.e., Raakhee is very less which is perhaps due to the producer’s failure in getting the sufficient number of her dates. Ditto for Shatrughan Sinha. Thankfully, this is not the case with the hero of this movie, i.e., Jeetendra who has carried this movie on his shoulders in his famous jumping jack style with his changing looks (due to the passage of time as the movie got delayed in its completion). In the beginning reels, K.N. Singh is shown as the main villain but the post-interval session shows Premnaath as the main villain who runs the gang from behind the curtain. Still one more villain is there who is termed as the supremo of the gang whose identity is revealed in the ending scene only which fails to convince the viewer because there has been no such indication towards him in the earlier part of the movie. The happenings of the story contain very less relevant stuff to justify the title of the movie.All the same, The Gold Medal is an entertaining crime-thriller. The seasoned director has handled the story well despite the obvious limitations and he has been able to present a regular potboiler for the audience liking such movies. Songs and dances have been inserted at different places as per the norm of that period. The movie contains all the regular Bollywood formulae but the less footage for the heroine has diluted the romance element in the story presented on the screen.Shankar Jaikishan have composed forgettable songs for the movie (it must be Shankar alone because Jaikishan had passed away in 1971). Still the opening song (Aazaadi Aayi Bhi To Kya) which has been picturized on Dharmendra and others is impressive. The technical aspects of the movie are in order though there is nothing about them which can be termed as excellent.
All the actors have performed routinely. However Jeetendra should be admired for getting this movie completed and ensuring that it becomes at least an above average entertainer. Dharmendra is only in the opening sequence of the song – Aazaadi Aayi Bhi To Kya and then the killing of himself and he is perhaps the most impressive performer.On the box office, The Gold Medal sank without a trace. Stale movies have to meet this fate only. That’s why I feel sorry for the movies which are made by investing a lot of time, efforts and money but either could not get released or could be released years later only. I recommend The Gold Medal to those movie buffs who enjoy watching crime-thrillers made in the style of the seventies. It won’t disappoint them if seen with a low expectation.
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