SPECIAL 26 review


Warning: Although I have tried not to reveal the suspense, there may be spoilers in the review as some bit has had to be revealed to point out the screenplay flaws. Please DO NOT read the review if you do not want to know the story.

Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Wide Frame Pictures and Friday Filmworks Pvt. Ltd.’s Special 26 (UA) is a suspense thriller. Ajay (Akshay Kumar), Sharma (Anupam Kher), Joginder (Rajesh Sharma) and Iqbal (Kishore Kadam) operate as a group. They im­ personate CBI officers, raid gullible people and vanish with the booty.

In one such raid on a minister, the fake CBI officers make away with the seized cash and jewellery, asking police officer Ranveer Singh (Jimmy Shergill) to await further instructions. Ranveer realises that he has been fooled. He is suspended for not having used his discretion and for having supported frauds in carrying out the raid, even though he says, he had done so under the belief that the raiders were genuine. Ranveer Singh approaches the CBI and seeks its assistance in nabbing the fake CBI team. He promises CBI officer Was­eem (Manoj Bajpayee) that he would himself work hard in tracking down the cul­prits.

Meanwhile, Ajay and his friends continue raiding people and making tons of money. They escape each time because those raided don’t complain to the police since it is their black money which has been confiscated by the fraudsters.

Ranveer Singh manages to track down Sharma, one of the con men, who are now planning to raid a renowned jewellery showroom as their one last operation. Does Sharma spill the beans before CBI officer Waseem? Does Waseem succeed in nab­bing Ajay and company? Or does Ajay prove to be smarter than Waseem? Does Sharma inform Ajay about his encounter with Waseem? What is Ranveer Singh’s role in the operation after he has tracked down Sharma?

Neeraj Pandey’s script has intrigue value and keeps the audience en­grossed except when, at regular intervals, the pace of the drama slackens due to lengthy scenes. For instance, the entire process of the raid is shown in such great detail that it gets boring for the viewer. Also, the suspense about Ranveer Singh is created for the audience because of the telephonic conversation between Ajay and him at the start. Frankly, Ajay did not need to make the official call to Ranveer Singh – the audience realises this when the ‘created’ suspense is revealed towards the end. This will leave the viewers with a sense of having been cheated because the entire suspense angle turns out to be fake rather than genuine. In other words, the suspense is created by putting only the audience – rather than one or more characters in the film also – on the wrong track.

Neeraj Pandey’s screenplay also does not answer one question which arises in the audience’s mind: why did Ranveer Singh complain to the CBI? While his complaint seems justified when it is made, it seems completely uncalled for once the suspense is revealed. For, the entire drama could’ve progressed far more smoothly without the involvement of the real CBI. Writer Pandey may want the audience to believe that Ranveer Singh benefitted due to the CBI’s intervention but he is unable to explain why he (Ranveer) couldn’t have carried on without getting the CBI into the picture. After all, even if one were to assume that the CBI involvement would have helped Ranveer Singh, there was always the fear that the CBI intervention could also work against his (Ranveer’s) interest. In the absence of the complaint, the CBI would’ve never been involved becau­se of the absence of a formal police complaint by the affected parties.

Having said this, it must be added that both these negative points come up at the fag end of the film, till which time the audience is fairly engrossed in the proceedings. In other words, the two defects in the screenplay – and let it be said, they are glaring defects – don’t disturb the enjoyment of the drama by the audience till almost the film’s end. But once the film is over, they do disturb the viewers.

The romantic track in the drama is weak. The film could’ve also done with a lot more light moments and more and better music to make it more appealing to the masses. For, in the form in which it is, it becomes more class-appealing. Dialogues (by Neeraj Pandey) are good.

Akshay Kumar acts with effortless ease and plays the fake CBI officer with a lot of conviction. Kajal Aggarwal gets very little scope as his beloved, Priya. She does well. Anupam Kher is in good form and performs ably. Jimmy Shergill is effective. Manoj Bajpayee does a fine job and is very earnest as CBI officer Waseem. Rajesh Sharma is efficient. Kishore Kadam is natural. His comedy is enjoyable. As his wife, Aparna Ghoshal stands out in the singular scene she is seen in. Vipin Sharma (as the ACP), Deepraj Rana (as Waseem’s aide, Rahul) and Divya Dutta (as police officer Shanti) lend the required support. Sukhvinder Chahal (as minister Gupta), Abha Parmar (as minister Gupta’s wife), Mukesh Bhatt (as the minister’s PA), Tiku Talsania, Neetu Singh (as Was­eem’s wife) and Neeru Bajwa (in a dance number) leave their marks in the few scenes they have. Ujjwal Chopra (in the role of Solanki), Pari­tosh Sand (as additional director, CBI), Gurpal Singh (as the telephone repair guy), Jarnail Singh (as the telephone recording guy), Prema Sakhardande (as Priya’s grandmother) and the others do as desired.

Neeraj Pandey’s direction is better than his script except that his scenes are very lengthy and go into great and unnecessary details. Yet, it must be said that he manages to keep the in­trigue value of the drama alive. Music could’ve been better. ‘Gore mukhde pe’ (composed by Himesh Reshammiya) is a nice number. ‘Kaun mera’ (M.M. Kreem) is melodious but very slow. The other songs (also set to tune by M.M. Kreem) are ordinary. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are fair. Ganesh Acharya’s choreography is nice. Background music, composed by Surender Sodhi, is loud and heavy. Bobby Singh’s camerawork is lovely. Abbas Ali Moghul’s action scenes are okay. Vaishnavi Reddy’s sets are alright. Editing (Shree Narayan Singh) is not as crisp as needed in a thriller.

On the whole, Special 26 may be a fairly entertaining thriller but it is not without some glaring flaws in its screenplay. At the box-office, it will not prove to be a paying proposition for the distributors, given its high cost to them (all-India: around Rs. 36-37 crore). Its producers, of course, will make a profit due to the high price at which they have sold the all-India rights and also due to revenues from sale of satellite and other rights.


About komalreviews

Am a film trade analyst, hence my reviews are from the box-office point of view
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23 Responses to SPECIAL 26 review

  1. Shankhayan says:

    i remmember u also gave OMG negative review and the only negative review i found out about special 26 is frm u sir..everyone else has given min of 3.5 and avg of 4 stars

  2. rakesh says:

    thank u sir , ur instructions on the first para was helpful .

  3. kadam says:

    ahahha aap ne kab sahi review dee hai ??

  4. jethalal says:

    Sir apne to kaha tha Race2 100cr tak nahi pahuchegi but aaj maine padha ki race2 100cr kar liye hai(@taran adarsh)

  5. Jayanto says:

    Ha ha ha. . . U should make a film then review it. I know u are a akki haters because akki don’t pay u.where everyperson liking the film and apreciated the film. Only u behenchod gave negetive riviw. Tu kia janta hai film ke baremai. Pahele ek film toh banake dekh phir bath karne aa. . Tere jaisa motherchod critic hone ki samta nahi Hai. Sale kutte ki aulat. Tereko toh baad mai dekhlunga. Pahele speacial 26 hit hone de. Phir tera band bajayunga. . . . . . . .mai pahele tereko manta tha ab tera yeh battomizi kelie koi tujhe manta nahi hai. Isilie toh tera twitter pe followers nahi barta. . . . . . . I know ki tu yeh comment remove kardega. . . . . Agar himmat hai toh comment nahi delete karna.

  6. Rajiv Atanu Kumar says:

    I think you don’t have any illegibility for giving a film review..

  7. Atanu Mondal says:

    Kya koi aapko manta hai as a critic.. Ya fir yunhi ban baytha.. Sakal apka kavi dekha nahi.. Par jaan gaya ki aakal naamki koi cheez apka paas hai nahi.. Behetar ye hoga ki aap retire ho jaao.. A kaam aapka baas ka baat nahi hai..

  8. Arun Purkayastha says:

    Salman khan ki ghatia se ghatia filmo ka v to kabhi sahi review kya kijiye…!Akshay ki achi se achi film me v apko golti najar ata hai…..why ne persnal clsh wth akki?

  9. Jaswinder singh says:

    komal nahta is one in itself, his point of views we can’t understand easily, he is trade guru, gud luck sir, keep going on, but little bit unhappy because akshay kumar is super star and we all love him, predictions are something else but truth lies in fan club

  10. mahesh says:

    Sir, mujhe afsos hai ki ‘OMG’ aur ‘Khiladi786’ ka aap ka Bakwas review ki wajah maine Ek bahetari aur Ek Saal ki sabse Entertaining (mere hisaab se) filme thieter main nahi dekh paaya… Pl. aap Akshay ki filmoka review bilkul naa kare, yeh hum sabhi freinds our inki filmo se jude sabhi
    logo pe dya karo.

  11. Raja says:

    Well you said about Race 2, it wont recover it’s cost but it crosses 100 crore :), I hope you dont need to rethink this time again 🙂

  12. nilesh says:

    You always give best and good rieview of khan films….
    All critics giving good riview of s26 but you could n’t give it….
    I don’t know what is minus point of this film except kajal aggraval’s unnecessary seens……..

  13. Indra says:

    Movie was best! Ye sala akshay king se panga le raha hai…,harami ….pahle film sahi se dekh tera baap hai vo…..ab se sahi review dena varna aage zarur galimya sunaunga…MAA KASAM

  14. nilesh says:

    According to my point of view komalaji,i always like your rieview but this time i am not 100 percent agreed with you…..at my point of view s26 is best except kajal aggraval’s unnecessary seen……
    Sorry komalji this time i am not agreed with you…………..

  15. Akshay says:

    Sorry Sir,
    your predictions going the wrong way again
    Again like OMG this will be a sleeper hit
    U underestimating
    acting prowess of
    Akki, Manoj vajpayee, a.kher, Jimmy
    also not to forget neeraj pandey of wednesday fame rocks

  16. Rahul says:

    Mr. Nahta,

    If you claim that you only review movies on their box office collection prospects then here’s a question: Why are your reviews available to regular viewers, i mean regular public? Should you not be an industry guy only commenting internally for the industry? Why do you come on tv and give reviews of films based on box office fate?

    Its like if the guy who makes tomato sauce packets for McDonalds putting an ad in the regular paper or television. He would only advertise in the food & beverage journals that institutions subscribe to, not regular magazines that the public reads.

    The public has no interest really on whether a film makes money or not, he or she only cares whether its a good film or not. By judging a film on the basis of box office collection alone do you not do great disservice to the public? Why discourage people from watching a film purely because you think that it’ll not make enough money. Don’t you feel that this way you add to the problem of having people not see the film?

    Kindly explain.


  17. Mittal Patel says:

    As per BollywoodHungama it collected 26-27 crores in first weekend only! I don’t think it’s going to make a loss for distributors…

  18. ConMen says:

    I think that you need to see the movie again to understand “why did Ranveer Singh complain to the CBI?”.
    Did you see the dialogue said by Divya Dutta to Jimmy when they see Manoj Bajpayee catch the criminal the 1st time? That is the crux to understand why Jimmy goes to CBI. Akshay and team wanted to do the last final BIG hiest and at the same time con the very best….This was Akshay’s plan for the hiest…of course they could do it differently too without involving CBI…but then it would be your plan…ha ha ha…I hope I do not have to explain this to you in further detail anymore (if you are smart enough).

    Regarding your other point…”telephonic conversation between Ajay and him at the start”…it is a point which can be easily ignored. Yes, the phone conversation was not needed…but if they had not had a call and if Jimmy and Shanti had come directly to Minister’s house (separate from the group), ppl would still believe that they are real cops. You have to understand that, there was only a core group of 4 conmen. Others (Jimmy/Divya) were only helping them when needed and as instructed by Akshay. So, they are never shown directly interacting with the others. You have to understand that there needs to be a screenplay to maintain the suspense element. In any story, you can always lay your cards open…but where is the suspense element then!!!!! I hope you get the point.

  19. Amar says:

    Komal ji you are finding logic here but why don’t you put logic in reviewing Son of Sardar ,and Dabangg 2. Special 26 is special film this movie has interesting plot second half is gripping I was glued to the seat. Its a rare Hindi film, and I wish this movie to become huge success as fan of movies and as Hindi speaking guy I wish our industry grow larger and make intelligent thriller like this one.

  20. @komal nahta, so this seems to be a defect in the movie as you say “”why did Ranveer Singh complain to the CBI? While his complaint seems justified when it is made, it seems completely uncalled for once the suspense is revealed.””
    Answer=It was the CBI that convinces the jewellery store owners to move the jewellery to the workshop. It was a plan of ajay to send ranveer to the CBI. As the owners of jewellery store personally knew the CBI chief, they believed him and move the jewellery. It was easier to fetch the jewellery from workshop which might be away from police station etc.
    Every logic need not to be explained everytime. some answers are left for the audiences to find out.
    It is a great movie. But not your review.

    • Raghav says:

      I agree with your explanation it was a big one this time. What’s the point of doing a documentary of the real incident, this is where Pandey has shown his class. As for the conversation the director only shows “Get some constables and meet me at this place”. Every con speaks in there own coded languages so may be the characters would have also spoken about this before.
      For me and many the screenplay is real tight except for the love angle.
      If suppose Ranveer Singh was shown as somebody who wanted to teach a lesson to the Law makers and joined hands with Ajju’s team after the suspension, may be it would have looked more convincing I guess.

  21. Chandra Sekhar says:

    Komal Sir, I am a big fan of yours…But truly speaking, u didnt understand the movie…….please watch it again…i m sure u ll like it….it happens……np….BTW, the movie crossed 45 crores in 1st week….it will be a superhit….

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