Sunday, February 10, 2013

Special 26

Neeraj Pandey measured the strength and angst of our fragile society in his terrific debut A Wednesday, where a man, any face from the crowd whose name and religion really didn't matter, mirrored the loopholes of our judiciary system and took the charge of demonstrating instant justice as a vigilante; the man who even hesitated and begged to pardon him for spewing out one expletive in frustration while in an engaging debate on phone with the Police Commissioner of Mumbai. That was an uncompromised, need-of-the-hour cinema by Pandey in 2008.

Here, in his latest Special 26, we see a bunch of four men who fools the security of the state to conduct some of the biggest heist of the times, posing themselves as CBI officers. Their incidents are very much questionable by the system just like the one in A Wednesday which was never booked in the police records. Similarly, no FIR is registered here too. But the lead there was powered with enough reasoning to his causes. Sadly, here we get nothing much. And it leaves us to question who is the real fool? The one who is robbed, the system or the scamsters? And in this pool of fools, director emerges as the smartest with each of the raid scenes made with immense tact.

It is set in the times of Maruti 800s and Padminis when the actual heist at a famous jewelry store in Mumbai took place and is exactly recreated here. On one hand, the director takes great pain in detailing the frames and on the other, he resorts to tacky chroma effect. Such a powerful script is killed with its loud and flashy execution and that too on a sluggish pace losing out the steam from a possible high-octane drama.

Pandey knows how to create a delightfully tense situation when the opposite leads of his story collide: like in A Wednesday when police commissioner Prakash Rathore (Anupam Kher) meets with the phone caller (Naseeruddin Shah), or in this one when CBI officer Wasim Khan (Manoj Bajpayee) meets with the conman (Akshay Kumar). But somehow, towards the climax, the urgency situation, as required by this touted thriller, is never felt.

His aspirations, however, seem to be overarching as he has got a star to play the lead role this time. And for every star, there is a female heroine in Hindi films who will set the needless love story and some songs and dances. (Though it's good to see Akshay doing away with the mindless movies.)

And with everything, plus dubbed and deleted abuses, this film is certainly a compromised one.


Abhinav said...

This is the best text I have read till now on this film. My thoughts exactly. The Special 26 was not that special but still a lot better than usual Hindi cinema's usual IQ.

The detailing is indeed very good but there are unwanted plots which, if removed totally, will do a hell lot of good like songs and romantic angles.

In this age where Hollywood cinema is readily available, we need not match that but we need to submit better content to the audience. This is certainly a better one though not a special one.

Anup Pandey said...

Thanks, AB.
I'm glad that this movie is doing good, as this thriller is completely made from an actual incident happened in India. We need such original Indian films than copied foreign stuffs.