Ajay Singh (Akshay Kumar) and PK Sharma (Anupam Kher) along with their two aides (Rajesh Sharma and Kishore Kadam) excel in duping people as a CBI team that goes about conducting raids at some of the most infamous Politicians and Businessmen. They get away with all their money and valuables quite easily as their offence never get reported for it involves a lot of black money.
Until they con an actual cop Ranveer Singh (Jimmy Sheirgill) to help them execute a big raid. Swearing revenge for the suspension that follows, Ranveer goes to the actual CBI officer Wasim Khan (Manoj Bajpayee) with all his findings to trace down these conmen. Whether the real CBI team catches the fake team before they execute their biggest scam – that of looting Bombay’s most pretigious jewlery store or not follows through the rest of the plot.
Some films come with all the pomp and show, all the masala of a Bollywood potboiler and all the star power riding on them to make it to the top grossers of the year while some films just come with a cracker of a story and nothing else and still beat the others. Neeraj Pandey’s Special Chabbis falls in the latter category.
The film borrows from the real life incident that happened in 1987 of a heist on the Opera House branch of Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri. However, it doesn’t document the series of events. Instead it twists the plot and makes it into a smart and taut thriller. The wicked humour that Neeraj indulges in is laudable and yet again he reiterates that it’s only script at the end of the day that rules the roost.
The filmmaker painstakingly recreates the times of 80s what with all the older wagons like Contessa, Matador Vans, Fiats, and Ambassadors to the clothes and styling of each and every actor. Even the high ochestrated background score is completely reminiscent of the ’80s era. Neeraj goes an extra mile to even get a matt sketchy finish on the print of the film.
“Special 26” is not a film that favours soft creative options. It takes the heist-story audaciously through a complicated maze of morality without getting snarled in sermons and messages. This is a film that engages you while letting the protagonists cross mischievously from one side of the line of morality to the other.
Special mention in this special caper must be made of the editing by Sree Narayan Singh, which allows every character (even the small and cute cop’s role played by Divya Dutta) to breathe as individuals, and the unassuming but illuminating cinematography by Bobby Singh that takes us to the cities of the raid without pausing to define the location.
** HQ **
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