Review: Neeraj Pandey brings another winner to the theatres this Friday. Based on the real life con job in 1987 that involved a fake CBI raid, Special 26 is an intelligent heist flick. Witty dialogues, ace performances, clever treatment- it’s a smart and appealing film. Lacking in pace maybe with the inclusion of unnecessary songs and the love interest angle, it even gets predictable at times, but works none the less.
Pandey’s first film A Wednesday had a very strong social theme. Special 26, however, is a lighter, more humorous and commercial attempt by this talented writer-director. One mastermind (Akshay Kumar), his right hand (Anupam Kher) and their handy men conduct close to 50 raids on unsuspecting ministers, businessmen and jewelers posing as CBI or income tax officials. When a real CBI official (Manoj Bajpai) is handed the job of tracking them down, the game gets interesting. The amazing fact here is that Neeraj Pandey manages to keep things engaging even while depicting a heist thriller based in the 80’s. No sophisticated equipment, no cell phones, no such jazz. Just the regular land lines, your gut instinct and presence of mind. In fact, there is only one scene where a gun is present, not even used. Pure mind games.
Akshay Kumar proves once again why he is one of the most bankable actors in Bollywood. Although it is Anupam Kher who steals the show with his now vulnerable, funny and [email protected] CBI official act. Manoj Bajpai is always good, no matter what character he enacts. This tough cop role must have been a cakewalk for him. As for Jimmy Shergill, producers & directors if you’re reading this we want to see more of this guy, a lot more. He has proven his worth beyond playing second fiddle now. All in all, if you go expecting the sun and the moon because this is the director of A Wednesday then maybe you are expecting too much. Enjoy the film for what it is – witty and intelligent. You don’t say that about too many films now do you?
Verdict: Witty, intelligent and packed with good performances.
Release Date: Feb 8, 2013
Director: Neeraj Pandey
Run time: 2 hrs 24 mins
Cast & Crew: Akshay Kumar, Kajal Aggarwal, Jimmy Shergill, Manoj Bajpai, Anupam Kher