Rating: 2.5/5 stars (Two-and-a-half stars)
Star cast: Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill, Divya Dutta, Manoj Bajpai, Kajal Aggarwal, Tiku Talsania.
What’s Good: Some dialogues; the jokes; the climax.
What’s Bad: Kajal’s unnecessary role/romance angle; the songs; a few unexplained bits.
Loo break: None.
Watch or Not?: Watch it for the con-jobs, the humour and Akshay-Manoj’s war of wits.
A CBI officer calls a local police officer to assist in the raid of a politician’s residence. The CBI team comb the house and uncover black money worth lakhs hidden in the ceiling, inside a vintage car, under god’s statue etc. The embarrassed politician sits through the entire drama while the officers seal and take away his money. The police are left to hold fort till the team returns.
Except that the team will not return. And there were no CBI officers to begin with!
This is all part of Ajay Singh (Akshay Kumar), P. K. Sharma aka Sharmaji (Anupam Kher) and their friends’ con job. They pretend to be CBI/Income Tax officers and raid the houses of politicians and wealthy businessmen. Not only do they steal insane amounts of money with the help of the local police (without having to shell out a part for the cops), none of their grand thefts get reported as the politicians and businessmen do not want to speak about their black money or they have a reputation to worry about. But one cop, Ranveer Singh (Jimmy Shergill), has taken this insult to heart.
After getting suspended with his colleague Shantiji (Divya Dutta), he asks the help of the real CBI officer Wasim Khan (Manoj Bajpai) to help nab these imposters. Now begins the game of cat-and-mouse. While Ajay wants to draw the curtains with a final huge heist, he decides to recruit 26 people in the guise of the CBI to create his Special Chabbis 26. Wasim cannot let a criminal get the better of him.
There’s also a nonsense plot of Ajay’s love interest Priya (Kajal Aggarwal) who’s soon to get married to someone else.
Special Chabbis (26) Review: Script Analysis
Neeraj Pandey takes a very interesting plot with a game of cat-and-mouse, minus the muscle. It’s a battle of cerebral levels with a determined cop out to catch a super-smart thief. The climax is bound to take you by surprise even though it does have a few loopholes. What the film needed was the cop and the thief to be nipping at each others’ heels than just one final showdown. We are only shown Ajay hijack 2 offices before he decides to throw in the towel. Maybe if the marriage and item number were excluded…
The weakest part of the story is the romantic angle: its forced inclusion is badly written and just as badly enacted. Just like the songs. The dialogues are fun. You can take a few tips from Wasim Khan on asking your boss for a raise! The interview of the candidates is another hilarious part. The characters are not really well developed but are very entertaining.
Special Chabbis (26) Review: Star Performances
Akshay Kumar makes a good fake CBI officer. As Ajay Singh, he does seem a bit too haughty at times, but it goes well with his persona. There’s something off about his hairstyle though, that goes from suave to weird-80s in certain parts. Darn, how good can Anupam Kher get! One second he’s strutting into a minister’s house and slapping his secretary, and the other moment he’s red-faced, hunched-shoulders and stuttering nervously. He’s excellent as Sharmaji, no doubt.
Jimmy Shergill and Divya Dutta are really good as Ranvir Singh and Shantiji but Divya barely get 3-4 lines in the movie. Manoj Bajpai does incredibly well as Wasim Khan and you really want some sort of divine intervention to keep both parties happy. Kajal Aggarwal hams her way through whatever scenes she has as Priya Chavan. Her strange role has her playfully teasing Ajay one moment and sobbing bitterly about her impending marriage to another guy (which she seemed cheerful about just 3 seconds ago) in the next. Tiku Talsania is lovable in his return to the silver screen as a merchant.
Special Chabbis (26) Review: Direction, Music & Technical Aspects
Though he makes a good thriller, Neeraj Pandey’s direction leaves a few gaps to be filled. He does well with the chor-police story, managing to keep it away from the Hollywood style sleek ones and keeping this much more grounded. But the first half is a long wait and much of the action and chasing happens after the interval. The badly handled and interjected romance and songs are another stain. Sanjoy Chowdhury’s background music is alright. Ganesh Acharya’s choreography is very ordinary. Music directors M.M. Kareem and Himesh Reshammiya make no effort with the songs either. Bobby Singh’s cinematography is good but the good shots tend to be repeated with Shree Narayan Singh’s editing.
A notable mention is for the sets and art direction which have been done very finely and doesn’t miss a beat of old Bombay of the ‘80s.
Special Chabbis (26) Review: The Last Word
Special 26 is a captivating con-movie with an equally thrilling chase with Akshay Kumar and Manoj Bajpai doing their best chor-police jodi.
Special Chabbis (26) Trailer
Special Chabbis (26) released on 8th February, 2013.
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