Circa 1987, while President Giani Zail Singh is unfurling the National Flag at Rajpath on 26th January, a team of four CBI agents (Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, Rajesh Sharma and Kishor Kadam) along with a couple of Police Inspectors (Jimmy Shergill and Divya Dutta) raid a prominent Minister’s house. After a precision search where in they break the false ceiling, cut open the car seats and break the wall behind the book shelves, they finally get what they had come for – loads and loads of unaccounted money and jewellery. When the Minister offers them a cut, the honest Officer slaps him hard. How proud we feel at the moment at such patriotic and honest Government employees!
Five minutes later, we are dumbstruck as we realize the CBI team was a fake one. The four conmen run away with the loot to different parts of the country without even the slightest trace. They come together every now and then for committing more such heists. They travel to all parts of India nonchalantly posing as CBI, Income Tax etc. targeting Ministers, politicians and businessmen. But no victim would come forward to lodge a complaint against them for ‘obvious’ reasons.
As the CBI comes under the scanner, an honest, fearless and underpaid agent, Manoj Bajpayee, is roped in to nab these four. To help him comes forward Jimmy Shergill, now suspended from the Police force for unknowingly aiding the conmen. Together they make a brilliant plan to catch the robbers red-handed.
Will the real CBI be successful in catching hold of the conmen? Or will the fake agents be able to pull off another heist under their nose? Are the real really real? To get answers to all these questions, you need to watch the heist drama.
Akshay Kumar as the brain behind the robberies has done a pretty good job. But in the role of a lover, he lacks sincerity. Anupam Kher plays a dual role; while he is a fearless fake CBI agent, he is also a worried father of 10 kids. The changing gamut of emotions that he displays is a treat to watch. Jimmy Shergill is wasted in an inconsequential role. Kishor Kadam and Rajesh Sharma have hardly any screen presence. Divya Dutta has a short role which still leaves an impact; would have loved to see more of this talented actress. Manoj Bajpayee as the no-nonsense and arrogant CBI Executive has done a brilliant job, as always. It’s a shame we don’t get to see him much in commercial cinema. Kajal Aggarwal, apart from looking pretty, which she does, has hardly any role to write home about.
Remembering Neeraj Pandey’s last thriller drama ‘A Wednesday’, you skip on the popcorn lest you miss something important, but as the first item song hits you, you feel like cursing yourself and saunter to the snacks counter. The film starts on a brilliant note but half hour down, it starts losing its pace. The songs add to the length of the movie and the love angle seems totally unnecessary. The hard work behind the detailing of late 80s is quite visible in the dressing (sarees, checked shirts etc), the then prevalent ’10’ rupees note and the landscape of Mumbai apart from a couple of overlookings (Maruti still hadn’t launched its ‘1000’ in that epoch. And that red colour came much later). The characters have not been much worked upon, hence are mostly single dimensional and lack the depth. The movie could have done a lot better with a tighter script and a pacier story.
Verdict: Though Special 26 is not in the league of A Wednesday, it is still a good watch.