Special 26 is based on real life events of the 80s, when some really smart crooks pulled off unbelievably risk-free and high ROI heists by posing as CBI or IT officials, and made off with black money and jewellery hoarded by politicians and businessmen. The biggest of these was probably the raid at the TBZ outlet in Opera House, Mumbai, where a team of "CBI officers" made off with a huge stash of gold and other jewellery.
Akshay Kumar plays the fake CBI officer and mastermind, ably assisted by Anupam Kher as his superior officer. As they plan and execute their raids, a real CBI officer, Manoj Bajpai, assisted by a SI from the Delhi police, played by Jimmy Shergill, gets hot onto their tail.
As the CBI trap closes in on the gang, just before their last, mega raid, the question is, will they be able to still pull it off, or will this be their end?
The movie is brilliantly shot and executed, the action is fast, the characters play their roles to absolute perfection, and the suspense and drama is top notch. The period look of the film is beautifully delivered - from the Marutis and Padminis on the road, to the radio and TV ads that play in the background, the atmosphere is subtle yet always there, reminding you of a bygone era.
Some of the scenes are just a brilliant piece of cinema - the action scene with Manoj Bajpai kicking off the autorickshaw, the interrogation scene with Anupam, and of course, the brilliantly shot and edited recruitment drive, which could have been such a drag, but ends up becoming such a beautiful part of the movie.
Yes, the romance angle is a little stretched, the songs out of place, although Kajal lookss demure and pretty, and makes the interludes not so unbearable after all.
After A Wednesday, here's another gem from Neeraj Pandey that will be remembered and appreciated for a long time to come.
A must see.