Friday, 8 February 2013

Review Special 26 Asli Hai

Directed and Writer  Neeraj Pandey

Starring   Akshay Kumar, Manoj Bajpai, Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill, Divya Dutta

There was no way I was not going to watch Special 26. Neeraj Pandey is one of the most promising talent in our Industry today. With "A Wednesday", we saw what a taut screenplay, and controlled performances and a talented director can bring to the table. Thrillers are a genre where more often than not our directors have failed us miserably in recent times. And I respect anyone who can deliver an engaging thriller, that too with a social theme.

Neeraj Pandey returns with Special 26 with a twist in the tale Con caper, in very good form. It has all ingredients which will make it watchable for both the masses and the classes.

This time he has the power of Akshay Kumar to make it even more appealing and saleable.

The story is based on "Real incidents", nationwide raids conducted by con-men posing as CBI at the homes and premises of politicians and businessmen in the late 80's. An extremely interesting subject, laced with some good humor, intelligent screenplay and fun dialogues.

Neeraj's writing is excellent, keeping it flowing without a dull moment. The only time the film slacks down is when the romantic track comes. It is totally unnecessary to the story, but I can understand that when you have Akshay Kumar, you need some "masala", but the songs just slow down the pace.

Neeraj Pandey is in total control of his storytelling and direction, and makes it a really good experience at the theater.

The casting is excellent, barring a few false notes like Tiku Talsania as the famous opera house Jeweler.

Anupam Kher delivers a delightful performance as the aging con-man with a battalion of kids and one on the way. But what will surprise you is the controlled, underplaying Akshay Kumar.

 He makes his role of a con guy "no one can catch" a pleasure to watch. Jimmy Shergill... aah, what to say, I think he deserves this inning... and I want to see him more. Divya Dutta is good, as usual. Their pairing really works. And after playing Titu in Love Shuv, Rajesh Sharma is back in this. The other supporting actors are well chosen, though they are the usual suspects in an ensemble like this.

And then there is Manoj Bajpai. I love this man. He has never disappointed me... barring a few banal films he did in his lean period. But his time is now. First GOW, and now this. He has lost weight and is looking the part. He stops being a person and totally becomes the character. His "real" CBI officer Wasim Khan is sheer pleasure. Watch out for his performance in the climax.

Sadly the DOP of the film Bobby Singh is no more, he has done a commendable job.

The music is very average, but the background score is good in places.

Neeraj Pandey has delivered. Its time for you now to go and buy your ticket.

My Verdict 3.5/5

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