Special 26: Review

A special film, indeed.


Once in a while, comes along a film that keeps you entertained, alert and looking for pleasure at every moment, even at the thought of the thought that’s gone behind it.
Special 26 is one such special film. Writer-director Neeraj Pandey's debut film, A Wednesday was a delight, Special 26 goes a notch higher. A cleverly directed heist film, Special 26 keeps you glued to your seats through the duration, keeping you enthralled almost every moment of it. Set in the 1987, the film is said to be loosely inspired by true incidents. It is war between an extremely agile con man, Ajju Wardhan and an upright CBI officer Waseem Khan (Manoj Bajpayee) are in a bid to outwit each other. Ajju along with his associates P.K.Sharma (Anupam Kher), Joginder (Rajesh Sharma) and Iqbal (Kishore Kadam), poses as CBI officers and robs ministers and other powerful people out of their black money. Ajju is confident that he will never get caught, mostly thanks to those very people he's robbed refuse to lodge police complaints. Waseem, honest to a fault, makes it his mission to get the "overconfident" Ajju booked. When the actors are convinced of the film, it shows on the screen. And when you have actors like Manoj Bajpayee, Jimmy Shergill and Anupam Kher share the screen space, there is bound to be magic. One particular scene between Bajpayee and Kher in a hotel room deserves a special mention. Akshay Kumar as a confident young man, gives a restrained and as a result superb performance. But it is the script and the painstaking attention to detailing by the director that should get most of the credit for how the film has turned out. It is rarely that a Hindi film takes the era in the movie set in takes as seriously as this. The movie moves in different locations in the country including Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi and Jaipur. Whatever the location is, not even for a moment the director forgets that it is the 80s, so every detail is looked after, from the dressing style, to the make of cars, down to the kind of stationery and currency that the characters use, reflect that era. So much so, that I started looking out for something that would be out of place and to my delight, I couldn’t find anything. Only deterrent in the film was what looked like a forced inclusion of a big Punjabi wedding and Akshay's item number with Neeru Bajwa. Apart from that, this film is totally foolproof, just like Ajju's clever heist schemes.

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