The movie is set in early 1980’s, based on real life bunch of conmen who pulled off many clever robberies and their prey being mainly the famous businessmen and politicians. During that time the politicians and businessmen hoarded huge amounts of black money in cash and jewellery. This was done to avoid taxes which were quite high in those times.
The film is directed by Neeraj Pandey – whose earlier work was critically acclaimed as well as a commercial success – A Wednesday.
It actually happened during the early eighties that a group of smart conmen pretended to be CBI officers or Income Tax officers and they confidently conducted raids on targeted businessmen and politicians. They would stash away the cash and jewellery in metal trunks and seal the locks, give signed documents mentioning the list of items to the victims assuring them that they would get all their bounty back after proper scrutiny and evidence that the confiscated cash/ valuables were accounted for.
As prevalent in those days, almost all of the victims could not justify their accumulated wealth, and so they did not even report to the police.
Special 26 (Chabbis) has dramatised the events and characters, based on the real-life daring heist at the Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri in Opera House in Southern part of Mumbai.
The film stars Akshay Kumar and Anupam Kher in the lead role. Kajal Aggarwal is Akshay Kumar’s love interest, while the others – Jimmy Shergill, Manoj Bajpai and Divya Dutta are the supporting characters.
Ajay Singh (Akshay Kumar) telephones (land lines in the eighties) a local police station to order more manpower for a CBI raid. Sub Inspector (SI) Ranveer Singh (Jimmy Shergill) receives his call, gathers his constables and accompanies Ajay Singh to conduct a raid in a Minister’s bungalow.
Ajay Singh’s entourage consists of the Senior CBI Officer P.K Sharma (Anupam Kher), and Joginder (Rajesh Sharma), and Iqbal.
The raided minister is given the list of confiscated cash and jewellery and then Ajay Singh’s group leaves the spot instructing SI Ranveer Singh and his constables to stay on guard at the minister’s bungalow until further orders.
After waiting for hours, Ranveer Singh realizes that Ajay Singh and P K Sharma were fake CBI officers, along with their two accomplices and the actual local police too were so convincingly a part of this fake raid.
SI Ranveer Singh and his sub-ordinate Shanti (Divya Dutta) are now suspended by the Commissioner of Police for being irresponsible and hereon, Ranveer Singh makes up his mind to trace the conmen and bring them to justice.
It so happens that the news of bogus raid isn’t reported in the papers as the victim willing to file a complaint against the con men, since the minister had a huge amount of unaccounted cash.
Priya (Kajal Aggarwal), is a teacher and in love with Ajay Singh.
The actual CBI officer Wasim Khan (Manoj Bajpai) is now briefed about the incident and then is deputed to dig into the case and they find out that scores of such incidents occured nationwide, which went unreported.
It is time for P. K. Sharma to hang his boots and so Ajay cajoles him to conduct their final raid on a “big fish” in Mumbai.
It is interesting to see here onwards how Ajay Singh and Sharmaji recruit the bunch of “new recruits” for the big one.
The film does have a few loose ends, and the character of Sharma over-reacting (over acting) after conducting his raid in Delhi. It seems unrealistic for a veteran who’s been part of 40 some what bogus raids – now trying to act scared.
A fine edge of the seat thriller.
Akshay Kumar – Ajay Singh / A.K. Vardhan
Rajesh Sharma – Joginder
Kishore Kadam – Iqbal
Anupam Kher – P. K. Sharma
Manoj Bajpayee – CBI Officer Wasim Khan
Jimmy Shergill – Sub Inspector Ranvir Singh
Kajal Agarwal – Priya Chavan
Divya Dutta – Constable Shanti
Tiku Talsania – Jewellery shop owner in Mumbai
Credits & Crew:
Produced by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Friday Filmworks, Kumar Mangat
Directed by Neeraj Pandey
Screenplay – Neeraj Pandey
Original Music by M.M. Kreem, Himesh Reshammiya
Cinematography – Bobby Singh
Music Director – M.M. Kreem
Film Editing – Shree Narayan Singh Production Design – Sunil Babu
Art Direction – Vaishnavi Reddy
Costume Design – Falguni Thakore
Production Manager – Pawan Kumar Jam
Assistant Directors – Shubhagat Chowdhury,
Dharmendra Suresh Desai, Suganndha Mehrotra, Sachin Varma
Sound Design – Debasish Mishra
Stunts – Abbas Ali Moghul
Lyrics – Shabbir Ahmed, Irshad Kamil