M S Krishna Prateek’s review published on Letterboxd:
Being the self-proclaimed greatest fan of Premam on earth, I waited for 7 years like anything for Alphonse Puthren's next and Gold is the proof that films like Premam can be as much a bane as a boon for what to expect from a filmmaker! Let alone other people asking me how it was, It's been tough to say for myself how Gold felt overall... the max I can put it in terms of words is with the help of "Idea Shaji" character who keeps throwing random ideas and calls his ideas amazing blah blah blah and there's a thin line between laughing for an idea and laughing at an idea and Gold exists somewhere in the middle of them both for me with Alphonse Puthren making Idea Shaji a clear meta stand-in for himself in the film. He seems to troll himself and with the ending, he even seems to go for trolling all those (g)old Robinhood movies.
When Premam became such a monstrous hit all over back then, some people wrote it off saying it's just a feat of beautiful cinematography and editing that's all with not much on the writing front, but I will never agree with them and if editing alone can make any film Premam, then Gold should have become one too but it didn't for me because my man seems to have spent all the time in editing first and then writing rather than in reverse or simultaneously. Why the cutaways to butterflies and nature in Premam made me feel like they're a part of the lived-in narrative whereas the cutaways to ants, insects, butterflies and skies here didn't feel organic and felt like mere cutaways for the sake of metaphors? The frame pulsates, jerks, shrinks, splits but what for? The BGM in the teaser that erupts for Joshi's fight actually comes very early in the film without even establishing his character or anything and then again, is Alphonse trolling such convenient uses of score in your regular commercial films or indulgently using it for the temporary rush even though he knows deep inside that it's not appropriate for the moment? Why do I feel like getting up and walking like George in rage even at the slightest mention or hearing of Kalippu even in sleep and why didn't I feel absolutely anything here?
We get the Neram and Premam crossovers in this multiverse of Alphonse with the Neram one being an absolute blast here and Alphonse also has fun with flashing the character names on screen that are at times hilariously in sync with what that character is responsible for in driving the plot forward, for instance, Alphonse cameoed himself in the name of Spider Suresh who is a web that connects multiple threads in the story and it tries to be or is actually a hyperlink cinema too, but sadly, the ink doesn't translate these links for me into something truly worthy of getting excited for or care for. We get the fun fonts and intertitles like "This is the sky above the police station" or "Let this scene play out in black and white only because it's a scene about the deal of black money" and so on but such choices go overboard after a time and I love excesses when they're at least in service of something but here no and it comes back again to the same question, whether to take them as a spoof of all such things we've seen earlier in many films or was he really going for that.
Lalu Alex was a riot, especially in that phone call convo with Shammi Thilakan in the second half and so was an obvious reference to Ayyappanum Koshiyum with Joshi getting called as Koshi at one point. I loved the irony Alphonse showcases in some characters wrt what they do when they get the money, for instance, one man after getting 10k for selling a gold furnace, immediately goes to buy (all are gpay transactions in the film mostly keeping up with the current trend) food for his family and his children ask him to bring munch chocolate while coming back home and this is the same man who was about to commit suicide minutes earlier and then Nayan at the end asks us the audience whether to choose human (Joshi) or money (Gold). There are occasional touches of good writing here and there but maybe the brand Alphonse Puthren needed far more of them. Anyway, dishti poindi anukodame prasthuthaaniki and I will wait with bated breath just like usual for his next Paattu that will have his own music he's been learning for many years now and I hope Nayan has something to do there unlike here with her screentime being an all-timer of a shocker for me!