Neeraj Pandey’s last cinematic outing, “A Wednesday“, was an imaginative film that twisted and turned as the plot unwound, giving movie watchers a fresh new experience. His latest, “Special 26″, is not of the same calibre but is passably enjoyable fare. Inspired from a real-life jewellery heist, the film tells the story of fraudsters who con powerful men into parting with their ill gotten wealth.
For the first time in a long while, Akshay Kumar actually acts in a movie. As leaders of the gang of theieves, Akshay and Anupam Kher put in a great performance, full of charm and guile. Manoj bajpayee, as the CBI officer chasing after them is super effective, his commanding presence filling up the screen. The story unspools in the 1980s and the chase between the cop and the thieves takes us on a trip down memory lane.
The cinematographer brings to life the landscape of Delhi, showing a Connaught Place filled with brand names that have faded from memory. Hatchback Marutis criss-cross the streets, and Anupam Kher shows the bafflement of a generation that doesn’t understand new technology. The slapstick which has become a hallmark of Akshay Kumar movies is thankfully missing and the humor is instead very subtle. The only weak link in special 26 is the romance between Akshay and Kajal Aggarwal, which does nothing for the story.
The final word on the movie: Special 26 is not a masterpiece but go watch it if you would like to pass the time and have fun doing it.