Special 26: A Review


A film as exciting as it promised to be

Director: Neeraj Pandey

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Manoj Bajpayee, Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill, Kajal Aggarwal

Hum CBI hain. Asli Waale.” (I am CBI. The real one)

This was the dialogue that left our jaws hanging open when we watched Manoj Bajpayee rubbing his temple staring into our souls. The trailers got us excited, but what intrigued us more was the story. A heist drama based on the real events that occurred on March 19, 1987, where a group of conmen executed a raid, posing as CBI officers.

The film was brought to us by Neeraj Pandey, director of A Wednesday.

When we think of Akshay Kumar, we think “masala-flick” but Pandey gives us a side of Kumar that has been the road not taken.

Anupam Kher, Bajpayee and Jimmy Shergill add to the charm of the power-packed cast that literally makes us say “I don’t know who I admire the most”.

At first you are impressed by the texture and tone of the film. The grainy and sepia-like tone immediately makes you think of either raw footage or the 80’s (the time period the film is set in). The costumes, the props, and the slang- all scream “vintage” and “old school”.

During the first half, you are left with large, surprised smiles while you cheer on the conmen and their flawless plans. Of course, somewhere at the back of your head you think about the loopholes in our country’s security system and government. But all of that is forgotten when you start admiring the fact that four men caused corrupt ministers and business to sweat.

When it comes to the pure genius plot, the major low point is the love story that had been practically shoved into the film. Ajay (Akshay) is given a love interest played by Kajal Aggarwal. To be honest, the romance and the song sequence seem out of place and irritating. The no-nonsense Ajay is forcefully shown as a romantic guy that just did not work with the flow of the story.

With the romance toned down in the second half, the film’s pace picks up rapidly as it approaches the climax scene. Anupam Kher is brilliant with his Jekyll-Hyde-like personality change between the scenes. Shergill and Bajpayee also keep your hearts thumping every time they are close to catching the four men.

But it is Akshay’s portrayal as the main con artist in the group that takes the limelight. With a flawless team of talented actors, his acting skills reach a level that we all had forgotten about. The events that take place make you cheer for the “bad guys” and hope that they get away with their crime.

The whole time you are in disbelief and ask yourself, “Did this really happen?”

Watch the film for the performances and the intelligent plot and be prepared for twists you had never thought of. But do try to bear with the tiring love angle.

Ambika Chauhan

Image Source [http://gallery.oneindia.in/ph-big/2013/02/special-26_13601534532.jpg]