It is said that Art imitates Life. Sepcial 26 is one such movie which sticks true to the saying and delivers what it promises- making it truly special - well almost !!!
The movie, most would have guessed, is based on real life incidents in the late 80's where a scamster stole crores worth of jewelry by executing a bold and an absolutely genius plan, based on Human Psychology and greed. However, the way the director (Neeraj Pandey) builds up the story up to the finale is commendable.
So, the story (or the gist of it!) . Akshay, Anupam, ---, --- -are four low key and extremely confident scamsters. The movie begins with an income tax raid on a Ministers house, complete with all the trappings of police, typewriter, official documents.. . The raid is conducted swiftly and a lot of black money and jewelry is recovered, hidden at various places in the house and car! As quickly as the raid was done, a list of all confiscated goods was made and the minister made to sign on that. When the police officer assisting the raid is told to hang around to ensure that no calls to the higher ups are made, one smells a rat. However, before one can think, the loot is transferred to another car, the four disperse by bus, train and air to their respective houses and lives, done all in a low key manner- no flashy stuff!!. Hey bingo,,, the loot is complete and everyone can get on with their lives. Except the guy who was looted!!. Now here in lies the genius of the heist. As the money and jewelry was all unaccounted for, the minister does not want to file an FIR, but only asks for the cops(divya dutta as the woman constable, and Jimmy Shergill as the Police Inspector) to be suspended - which they are!. Finished.
The script then builds up upon the lives of the four scamsters. Akshay is a single guy, living alone in Mumbai. He is in love with a beautiful girl , Kajaal Agarwal, who lives opposite his balcony. Why no beautiful girl ever lived across by balcony!!! Boss, it only happens in the movies!!. Kajaal is betrothed to another guy, Tukaram (not seen in the movie- virtual ) and is pestering Akshay to marry her. He promises her but she is scared that he will get caught one day, executing his scams. Akshay tells her that The man who can catch him hasn't been born yet..!! But she still is scared....
Anupam Kher is a married guy with some 7 children and one on the way. He uses the money to marry off his daughter and in general have a good life. He seems scared and under confident but is in his element when conducting a raid.
Rajesh sharma is shown as a henpecked husband and Mukesh Bhatt as a devotee of some sadhvi.. thats it!!. Not much footage is wasted on them. But every good thing has to come to an end.
Enter CBI Officer Waseem Khan. He is introduced by showing him ferrying his kid on his shoulder to the bus and in the next frame making a dash to Connaught place on a lambretta/Vijay Super scooter to catch a criminal. He catches his man after a nice chase... well executed and taut. The end is near, when Jimmy shergill, as the suspended cop, appraches Waseem Khan with a list of fake raids conducted by the scamsters and wanting to catch them. Waseem is intrigued and setups up an operation to catch the four in the act.
Well, thats all I am going to say about the plot!!! You should watch it for the execution (even if you know what the ending is going to be!) After a long time comes a movie with a well written, well executed and believable script. The screenplay is pretty good and so is the acting by all the guys. What stands out is the how one's fears can be played upon by scamsters to part you from your assets.
Highlights - Anupam Kher is very good as the nervous old man, Akshay is great and play his role with a lot of restraint... very believable, Manoj Bajpai is also brilliant in his zeal to catch these guys. Kaajal looks heart achingly beautiful (yeah you guessed right - she is the new heartthrob). Even with hardly any makeup, she looks every part the role of a teacher, in love with a scamster. Would have loved to see some more footage dedicated to her but......
In conclusion, an excellent movie that does not drag a bit (only when the songs start-- but that is still ok). Well executed and acted. A must watch!
Rating - ****
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